“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.”
(Psalm 84:5 NIV)
“. . .they relish the spirit of the journey, which is as much about the camaraderie as it is about reaching the intended destination.” (“Great Journey, Great Loop” by Bobbye Kenyon, Boating World magazine)
I love to travel. Planning our next destination is often the topic of conversation, when my husband and I are returning from a trip. We dream about the possibilities. We discuss the benefits of going to certain places during certain times of the year. While trips are fun and exciting at the time, I often come back from a trip a little blue. I miss the freedom from responsibility. The day after a trip I usually want to sleep or feel a great pressure to get something done.
This is where I find myself today, coming off of a great family time at Sunset Bay, NY. Our days included coffee in the morning, meals throughout the day, sunbathing on the beach, playing Pictionary and watching the sunset each evening. Now that I am home, I am back to figuring out my schedule. What do I need to get done before classes start in three weeks? How can I stick to a “one day at a time” philosophy, when it seems so many duties are facing me? Laundry, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, catching up with friends and some summer school assignments loom before me.
I’d rather just go back to bed, but the day is calling. We often think of a journey as travelling from place to place, but from its French root word- “jour” there is a sense of daily. To separate the long term journey mindset from the daily journey is not that easy. My romantic side wants to dwell on the great hope of the next destination, but my practical side needs to live in the day. How can I add a little romance to the daily?
I think it comes from realizing that each day has potential for camaraderie with God and others. God’s presence with Moses and the Israelites was a daily reality. The word for journey in Hebrew literally means to “break camp”. The Israelites camped out until God initiated the next move. (See Numbers 9:15-23). To be attuned to God’s movement in my life takes paying attention. This takes time, energy and faith. I want to become more and more yielded to his Spirit, and respond with joyful obedience. I don’t know how this looks specifically, anymore than the Israelites probably knew where they would go next. The main thing they knew was that they wanted God’s presence to be in their midst. My ultimate heart’s desire is to be so absorbed with God’s presence that is doesn’t matter if I am in a romantic state of mind or a practical state of mind, but just that I am enjoying His company no matter what life brings my way.