Signs are really important on the camino. Some signs are really obvious, some much more subtle. Some places seem to have a sign or marker every few feet; other times you can go for a kilometre without a sign.
Once starting the camino, you very quickly become attuned to seeing the signs. You are constantly scanning for the yellow arrows or scallop shell signs and markers. But sometimes when the signs are the most important they are the hardest to see. Big cities often use a small (4 inch) imprint in the pavement. With the distraction of flashing signs, beautiful buildings, traffic and large intersections, it is very difficult to keep following a little pavement imprint.
Because the hostel I stayed in in Leon was not on the camino, I had to pick up the camino trail in the early morning. I spent thirty minutes getting lost and searching in vain until a kind gentleman guided me almost a kilometre and pointed to the scallop shell in the pavement.
I believe life and direction from God is similar to the signs of the camino. We need to attune our senses to God’s signs and guidance to be confident that we are on the right path. And when we feel lost and distant from God, we may need to only find a little imprint in the pavement, rather than some big and obvious sign we may be expecting. Not all signs are a big yellow arrow on a tree next to the path.