So, spoiler alert, I'm preparing to go to Australia near the end of July this year. I'm not too nervous right now. A little bit apprehensive for terms like "kilometers" and "Celsius" but I'll soon correct their heathen ways and get them back to the right systems. 'Merica, am I right?
Jokes aside, it's a trip all the way around the world, in an entirely different hemisphere and I will never have been so far from my home in the United States. And maybe it's just my restless nature, but I am so ready for that.
I am ready to escape the narrow confines of jobs and daily life here. It's a drain and I'm sure we can all relate. Every day it's about getting enough stuff done so you can get to the next day. Rinse and repeat. How utterly...boring.
And I reject boring.
Not to mention I have a friend moving to Europe so I have to at least attempt to compete with that bombshell.
To me traveling has always been the greatest of things, whether it's interior travel or physical travel. I long to see, do and feel more than I have. It's a part of my nature, my "esprit" as the French would say.
I want to fall in love with the next horizon and dance with the city stretched out and sleepy before me. I want to feel more deeply in places where I have never felt before.
We all want that. We're hungry for it.
Every day we look and scroll through our phones looking for something, for anything, that will take from us this deep-seated boredom and will invoke in us some sense of wanderlust.
Well, I'm ecstatic to say I'm going to satisfy some of this wanderlust I hold within me. I'm going to explore, love and dance my way across Adelaide, Australia.
And maybe Adelaide or Australia isn't your cup of tea (oh goodness, tea time? I'm going native already...) but that shouldn't stop you. Travel and live. Travel is fatal to a narrow mind and invigorating to the person who wants to grow.
I'm going to follow my feet and see where they take me. And that's all He wrote.
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.” -Robert Louis Stevenson.
So there is this show called Downton Abbey, you may have heard of it. Well, if you haven't you're about to because it is one of my favourite shows by far and I am currently rewatching it. So in Downton Abbey there are a set of characters, a couple actually named Anna and John Bates. Now in season 3 these two are separated, John is accused of a crime he did not commit and is sentenced to life in prison and Anna is still working as a lady's maid in an aristocratic household. There is this one particular episode when Anna and John are not receiving each others letters, the guards at the prison are withholding them.
Now this continues on with no letters for a period of weeks and both of the Bates are starting to lose faith. They each assume that the other gave up, is moving on or just doesn't care.
But that is not true. And to skip to the end a little, they both realize the truth and by the end of the episode are reading each others letters long into the night. As they read these letters of love, they laugh and they cry and they are so relieved at last.
They're relieved of course because their hope was rewarded. They sat there week after week waiting for a letter that never came until almost too late but they still had hope.
That is a marvelous thing.
It can often be hard to be hopeful in the midst of fear, heartbreak and tragedy. Yet, that is exactly what we are called to do.
We are called to be hopeful, to be joyful in our hope, confident with the knowledge that God works all things to our benefit.
Yes, there will be tears, there will be doubts and sometimes we will let our worst selves win.
But we are not the sum of our failures, but the sum of God's Love for us. And once we fall we can only press forward. Behind us lies a chasm that we barely knew we jumped and before us lies a road. A road that will often times be painful, it won't always be rewarding and sometimes you will flat be told no.
But the nature of hope is the trust that at the end of that road we will find the great Yes, the magnificent reward and bliss that cannot be denied.
So go forward, hopeful into the night. Hopeful with the knowledge of Anna and John Bates that no matter what comes hope remains long into the night.