I have caught a travel bug. Even though I am too ill and weak to do very much very consistently when I travel (I can’t bicycle, snorkel, kayak, etc.), I love hitting the road to see new scenery or to return to favorite happy places: Astoria/Warrenton/Gearhart/Seaside/Cannon Beach/Lincoln City/Newport are all high on my list. Except for having to fly to get there, I am also in love with Hawaii and Arizona, especially in the winter months. And there are so many places I desire to see–the East coast, etc. There isn’t enough time, energy, or money available for travel, and there are better causes to consider supporting than just my own travel desires. Mostly, I think I just like getting away from the pressures of life. The pressure of trying to keep busy, to do something productive, and to keep pressing through acute fatigue and illnesses is so tiring. It’s so great to get away and have nothing you must do. I try to get this vacation mentality going for a stay-cation at home, but it never works–too many people, things, responsibilities and circumstances interrupt.
As I was saying goodbye to the Columbia River that I love so much at Astoria today, a travel companion reminded me that what my heart is really longing for is the River of Life (eternity). So right. So insightful. I am longing for all the battles, trials, tests, and responsibilities of this present life to end. I’m longing for my eternal rest and for the beautiful sites of the New Earth. My heart is groaning and longing for my own salvation to be revealed, to be glorified with Christ [which is mind boggling!], and for the New Creation as is explained in Romans 8. As a believer in Jesus, these things are guaranteed for me. Traveling/vacationing is a little, slight preview of my eternal hope.
One of my favorite things about traveling though is returning home. After living in a small hotel room and living out of a suitcase for a few days, it feels so great to see my own decor, furnishings, and stuff, and stretch out with a full kitchen, living room, and house. What a blessing our house is and what a good place to return to. I thought today when I returned home–if this house was a vacation rental — what would I be thinking about it? What parts would I be loving, and what would I dislike? Would I think my own home was a good vacation rental value? And I realized, this home that I so easily can take for granted, or even get tired of spending money on, cleaning, maintaining, and trying to keep ahead of the chores on– this home is quite a nice place to live. Thank you God. May our home [it belongs to God, my husband and me] always be a beacon of love and hospitality to others and let me never take it for granted.
Even as I desire to travel, travel, travel and see more sites, what is the good work that God wants me to do with the rest of my life? I STILL don’t know what I am really supposed to do when I grow up. Yet I’ve been doing a lot of work all my life. The clock is ticking down speedily on having the opportunity to serve Christ and people on this old earth. Am I willing to keep pressing on, despite illnesses and disappointments and challenges, to do good works to help others in the Name of Jesus? Do the few things I am still able to do as a jobless, partially disabled, homemaker/volunteer matter for anything? Does God want me to travel a lot and point to Him wherever I go, to whomever I meet, since that is the desire in my heart? I’m pondering figuring out the balance between “retirement,” resting and taking care of myself in my illnesses, and continuing to be faithful to serve Christ. Though some people have a diagnosis that may make their life expectancy seem more uncertain than others, all people are a heart beat away from their final breath. Are you ready to meet your Maker? Am I? Yes, I am, by grace through my faith in Christ alone. Am I making the most of every opportunity while I still have it? Am I grateful for the many blessings and resources I have? Praying and pondering.