I watched the movie The Way last night.

And I wept.

The movie follows a man who, estranged from his only son, receives the shocking news that his son has died. And not only died, but died after only one day of his walk on the Camino de Santiago or The Way of St. James, for which he’d long dreamed and prepared, and over which he and his father had argued. The father flies to Spain to bring his son home, and instead, ends up finishing the walk his son had started, his son’s remains in tow.

During their only on-screen exchange, the father is angry and confused that his son is not choosing the life that seems best to his way of thinking. Their differences pique in this pivotal statement from the son:

You don’t choose a life. You live one.


I think of how many times, as parents, we project our own hopes and dreams for our children, on our children. In truth, it’s our job to help them see their gifts and direct them in finding how best to use them. Sometimes, though, as they start to branch out, I think we see the potential for them to tap into an area that might’ve been our dream for ourselves. A dream that was, perhaps, unrealized, and through them, we see another opportunity. The deal is, however, that they were born for this exact time in history, for a specific purpose. And, really, that purpose likely has nothing at all to do with our dreams.

The fact of the matter is that we, too, have been born for a specific purpose in this time, this generation in our history. God has equipped us with exactly the gifts and talents we need to achieve it. Sometimes, in the midst of building our marriages, raising our kids and figuring out the best way to pay the bills, we forget that. We forget that we – you and me – have a purpose that is closely tied to our own dreams and gifting. That passion, way deep down inside, is not there by accident. It’s not for your kids to live out (unless it’s their dream, too)…it’s for you.

That father, through walking out his son’s dream to travel the Camino de Santiago, was awarded a shift in perspective. He found out, for himself, the difference between choosing a life to live, and really living the one that was planted in his soul, in the womb. While it wasn’t found walking 500 miles on the Camino, I did find a shift of perspective of my own, on a 2500 mile car trip on the open road. I found a better understanding of why I’ve felt so stuck, and as the miles flew past the car window, the layers of worry and care and stress seemed to peel back, too, allowing some almost 49 year-old soul-plantings room to breath and grow.

With fresh eyes of understanding, I watched The Way, last night.

And I wept. I happily wept.