A reflection on the book El Camino de Santiago
By Jermer Cruz, CFC FFL Fulltime Worker
Practical. Straight to the point. Relevant.
Those are the three major reasons why I really liked reading Tito Frank’s “El Camino De Santiago” book. I never thought that one person can come up with 174 principles of servant leadership – in the middle of his painful walking experience. Such an inspiration can only come from the Holy Spirit.
Servant leadership is such a tricky title. It being as a “title” is already very ironic to its definition. Two contradicting words put together can only get you in to a more difficult situation of defining it, what more when you are asked to live it out. Servant leadership is a concept that the present world is bravely rejecting. That is why living it out is swimming against the tide. But just like any painful experiences, just that of Tito Frank’s, we must go through it so we can arrive in our destination. The book presented to me things that are very essential in not only surviving and thriving as a servant leader, but eventually attaining holiness.
First, imperfect people. Community life isn’t all perfect and glamorous and fun and happy the whole time. Most of it are very challenging not only because of personal struggles in life but most especially because of the people that we are with. Sometimes I think that because we recognize of our imperfection, it gives us a license to be imperfect and stop becoming better, the usual “tao lang” kind of reasons. Even if we try to be as authentic as we can be to change, people will still think less of us, and that really hurts deep down. But they are also in the same journey that we are in. That is why as a servant leader, we are called to widen our understanding for those who are hard to understand. Even if it’s already wide, we must make it wider.
Second, pains and sufferings. Whether it be physical, emotional, life situations, or spiritual, they are all part of salvation. The first time I’ve heard of “redemptive suffering,” I was all lost and questioning what is it about, and why is there such thing. It took me years to understand such concept, until I myself experienced it first-hand. No one wants to be hurt. No wants hardships. But sure, it is salvific. And we are called to rejoice in suffering. Yes. Rejoice. In suffering. Hard to grasp? Only deep experience and understanding of God’s love can make us understand such thing.
Third, blessings. Community life isn’t all pains, and sufferings, and imperfect people. There are many good things that come with it. Real, good people, fellowship, worship, lives changing right before our very eyes, helping hands in trying times, second, third and even fourth family, and many, many, many more are all part of it. Never close our eyes in the good things that life can offer, and offering. There are many of them and they are all from the Good Father.
Lastly, deep and personal relationship with the Father. The calling to become a true and authentic servant leader only comes from God Himself. Living it out is way harder than we thought it could be. Only in our deep and personal relationship with the Father that we can do this. Everything is Grace. Everything moment of servant leadership is grace.