Being in college, it's obvious that traveling is something that people in this early-20-something age bracket do. College kids are renowned for their "wanderlust." We're the adventurers, the ones out exploring during their couple of years of true "freedom" before we're stuck with a 9-to-5 job and car and house payments and children with soccer games and dance recitals. There's an obnoxious pressure on us to GO WHILE YOU CAN. So many voices are telling us that we will be more worldly and interesting and happy if we go to some far off land.. that we need to go somewhere away from home to "find ourselves."
Ugh. No. This, my friends, is a lie. And it is so easy to believe.
I have to tell you, I love going places. So, so much. I love walking down airport terminals with nothing but my backpack on my back and boarding pass in my hand. I love sunsets in places I've never seen a sunset before. I love walking down streets and seeing people who are carrying on with their lives in a place far away from my home. Above all though, I've discovered that I love new.
We all do. A wise priest told me once that you will change more from age 18-23 than you will for the rest of your life after that. Us college kids are like little babies discovering the world for the first time and everything seems interesting. This is a beautiful season to be in and I myself absolutely love it, but the idea that THIS IS THE TIME to live and that after this life will be monotonous and less full is a lie. The even greater lie (developed by the king of evil himself no less) is that true happiness lies somewhere else than the simplicity of the present moment.
Your immortal soul was created for adventure. It was created to yearn for newness. Above all, it was created to wonder in the presence of beauty. Mountains and sunsets and beautiful views are made to melt us. This is why traveling is so wonderful - it's easy to sit in wonder at new things. To go to a new place and meet new people who live differently from you and learn about yourself in the process.. it's so good!
But - I'm speaking from experience here - once you begin to place your happiness or your identity in the places you have gone or will go - you will be left feeling like you're missing something. The wandering and learning and adventures will be beautiful and will take you to amazing places I'm sure, but eventually the moment will come when that won't be enough to make you happy. And then.. you just keep going on with your life and coping with this half-happiness?
No. Guys.. if you're still reading at this point, I want to tell you something. Jesus changed my life. Not only did he change me, but he changes me. Every freaking day. He reminds me of who I am and what the purpose is of his crazy beautiful creation.
This mystery will amaze me no matter how many years I get on this beautiful earth he created me to love. We can't live in fear of the future - or go places because we think we'll "find ourselves" there - or look for our identity in the things we've done. Coming from a true wanderluster herself, I'm telling you. Go to church and visit your creator who made you to be fulfilled by Him. Go out and serve in the way that you feel called. Love on the people he put in your life without expecting anything in return. The simplicity of every day is where we are ultimately called to dwell. I vote still go on the adventures! But look for amazing in the everyday first. And remember that your fulfillment is not in the places you will go. There is so. much. more.
Let me know if you want to get coffee sometime and talk about this crazy guy I'm in love with. I guarentee He's yearning for you to come closer.