I’m still a very unsophisticated traveler. Yesterday I got up just like most Sunday mornings and drove to church. Then there was lunch at home but dinner was gobbled down in the Atlanta airport and finally crawled in bed in Phoenix. I’m not complaining. It was a long but great day. I’m just saying the fact of me being in Flushing one minute and then get into a big metal tube with wings and be thousands of miles away in a few hours, still boggles my mind.
This morning I’m drinking coffee on the balcony of a hotel looking through a few palm trees at the mountains across the road. They are sharp and jagged yet inviting. I can make out a handful of path, trails and switchbacks that lead to a handful of homes. My senses are heightened by all the newness. And the day’s early sun gives me glimpses of red rock and tufts of green. I can make out the sagebrush and cacti that dot the landscape. The valley of the sun is painted with subtle color in every direction.
I fear by the end of the week the peaks will look more plain and the scenery will only appear drab and brown. Unfortunately that’s the way things go, isn’t it?
We encounter something new. It quickens our heart, awakens our faculties, calls for our rumination. Whether location, literature or love things have a way of becoming familiar, common and mundane. I don’t think it should be or has to be that way. I don’t think it is an unescapable force like gravity. I think its more like the slow undertow of the ocean on a nice day. We play and appreciate. We laugh and we admire. But when we suddenly become aware of the passing of time, we look up to find ourselves far from the place we started.
When playing in the ocean you have to fight against the pull even on the most glorious of days. That’s what I’m talking about. We have to fight against the ebbing sense of newness, life, and beauty that we once were drawn to that have now become commonplace. If we don’t we become cynical – and I can tell you a thing or two about that.
How do I appreciate what I’ve become accustomed to and find beauty in the ordinary? Take some time to think about these questions:
- Who are you most alive with?
- What factors lured you to the place where you live?
- How did you feel the first time (or the last time) you encountered God?
- What qualities drew you to the one you love?