Two weeks from today I will be waving farewell to my hometown as I begin my three month journey around/across the US! It may be the craziest thing I've ever done, but I have a feeling it also just might be the healthiest.
I am drawn to the extreme. I am compelled by the rediculous. I get jittery when I think about possibilities, potentials. Hearing about someone else's experience makes me ache.. I want to experience it myself. I know enough now to know that unless I do, I really cannot claim to know anything at all about whatever it might be. Reading books is good, but they only make me want to experience what I've just read on my own. Seeing photographs is good, but they make my eyes and my insides itch to be in it myself. I've been called curious, which is probably true. But my drive really doesn't come from curiosity or a need to be in the know. What I need is to understand. This need for experience undoubtedly stems from the desire to live an authentic life. Forming opinions, desires, dreams even from someone else's experiences lacks a degree of authenticity I don't want to live without. How can I speak of someone as a statistic, of a country as a shape on a map, of a people group as a stereotype or a study?
This is the very reason I am so compelled to get to know my God ever-increasingly more. I'm not satisfied hearing other people's stories of His goodness, His faithfulness, His kindness, His love. Sure they inspire, but I need to experience these attributes for myself. If I don't, I really have no idea who He is.
All of this to say I'm taking this trip for many reasons, but the greatest of the many is that I might encounter: myself, my country, my fellow Americans, and my God. To zip from coast to coast in two weeks would entirely defeat the purpose of this trip. I must go slow. I must take the time to absorb and reflect upon every conversation, observation and experience until each one has settled deep inside of me. I must take pieces of America with me as I go, and I must find a way to leave pieces of myself in the form of blessings along the way. I need to be more in-tune with myself, with the air, with the sounds, with the Spirit, with my God. Separated from any "group", any responsibility, any obligation, any specific place, what will my heart feel? What will I long for? Where will the winds of the Spirit blow me? And how will I respond? I need to find this out.. because when I'm home I long for home, when I'm in Africa I long for Africa, when I'm at Brockport, I long for Brockport. (etc. etc.)
But I have a feeling God has something to say to me that boundaries have rendered me unable to hear.
I think part of what's making me so ready right now is the realization that I might not be ready. There is no limit to what these months could bring. Nothing would surprise me. But I'm ready to be caught off-guard, to be wow-ed, to be disappointed, to "not be ready". I've realized sometimes it's impossible to be ready, and sometimes it's okay not to be ready.
Ready or not,
two weeks from today I'm off!