I’ve learned more about myself than I can verbally explain this year. I think that’s why God completely removes us from everything sometimes. In His book He sure talks a lot about growth in wildernesses on the front end of doing big things. One of the things (amongst the many) this year has taught me is that I’m a complete wanderer. I’m always wanting to be somewhere else other than where I am. It’s not necessarily a positive thing. I’m also a dreamer. I am always ready for the next new exciting thing. I am always dreaming about doing more, living fuller, and loving greater. The future to me is always exciting! But sometimes at the expense of savoring and living fully in the present. The future is just a big giant blank canvas with no rules, just dreams waiting to be splattered everywhere. Which is great for me, because I’ve never been much of a rule follower either. I don’t think there is a set way to do things. I think there is freedom to be found everywhere. I also think all of this is why traveling is so important. I’m not an aimless humanitarian on a cultural fad wandering away to take pictures and drink coffee. That’s not me, and that’s not what I am saying by travel. I’m talking about intentional travel. I just want to help people. That’s really it. I think that’s why I was born. I also think the greatest way I can help, is to introduce people to Jesus.
When you travel it changes you. Almost entirely. Travel gets you far enough away from your everyday life to see that life with a completely new outlook. Something happens when you are completely removed from family, from familiarity, from norms, and from all previous friendships and relationships. Something happens when you lose certain rights, like the right to have clean running water, or the right to have electricity, or the right to cool your body down in over one hundred degree heat indexes. Something also happens when you see other innocent people lose their rights. Like their right to freedom, their right to self-protection, their right to nourishment, their right to dignity, and their right to education and equality. And then there’s a beautiful something that happens in your soul when you see a kid run across a field to collapse into your arms at the end of a long day, when you see a kid who has no parents and no home flourish in school with the deck stacked up completely against him, and when your sitting without another human remotely close listening to the waves crash the shore line reminding you of grace, and watching the most beautiful colors of sunset fall into the sea reminding you of the gift of life we get each new day. I think it is in all of these moments that you finally begin to see the fullness of your life. I also think it’s these moments that slowly change a wanderer into a planter. Its travel and wandering, that takes a person far enough away to value their everyday life from a completely new perspective.
I think the future for me looks a lot like of building roots, and some community. I think there is something too roots. I also think its harder to build roots than it is to wander. I think there’s value to staying in one place for awhile through the good, bad, ugly, and the urge to wander. So, wherever I land next, cheers to some years in your city –
I’ll still continue to dream, and I am committed to helping people globally until I’m in the ground. I’ll just be doing that from one city for a while.
Also, if you are a parent and you have a wanderer, if I could offer any advice it would be to let them wander.. Trust in the beautiful mess you have created. Trust that at the end of the day love will hold, and through all of the wandering their heart will long for home. Sometimes we have to leave home in order to find out what we left there, and why home matters.
To my mama and my bro, through all of my crazy, thanks for always being my biggest fans even when I don’t make sense. I love you.