I’ve been thinking today on why people travel.
And I don’t just mean on vacation or some place particularly far; why do people move from place to place? Why do they leave their home at all?
I guess the most obvious answer in our society would be to get the things necessary to meet the needs of a household. Most of us wouldn’t have the resources in our home to feed, clothe, and clean ourselves without leaving the house at some point or another.
And of course it isn’t always an errand. We leave the house to go to school, to spend time with our friends, to visit family, or to go to church.
And yes, we travel on vacations. We go to college and we study abroad; we move for a new job or a new opportunity.
And while all of those journeys are very different, I think the main thing that all of those ventures have in common is that you are motivated to take them for something you want or need. Even if you aren’t particularly looking forward to a trip, you probably are anticipating that you will be better off for having taken it.
After all, no one sets out on a journey expecting to stay in the same place.
I think that spiritual and emotional journeys follow the same logic; they aren’t always fun for the traveler. They can be painful, vulnerable; maybe they challenge the way you see the world, maybe they challenge the way you see yourself. And if they don’t, maybe they should.
Because the wild and beautiful world that we live in does not expect us to stand still. We are created to move; to learn and grow. We are called to embark on a lifetime journey to better understand, better respect, and better care for all of creation. If we aren’t doing that, we are living against the grain of our most holy calling: to love one another as Jesus has loved us.
This has been a crazy time of relative isolation; of living in a small glass houses with an internet front porch. If it has left you with hate and bitterness in your soul, don’t lose hope. Perhaps you’re heart has just been still too long and its time to move. Unclench your fists, open your mind and be ready for the journey.