Departures are just the beginning of a long journey home

I’m leaving today to the UK… This morning as I reflect, it’s hard to believe I’ll be on the other side of the world after this flight.

For most of this last week, many of my anxieties have sprung from me not knowing what to expect in Europe… today, seeing news of a shutdown Trump rally and beautiful stories of protest,  my mind has started to wander further into the future. Technically, the destination for my camino is Santiago (or Muxia if I want to follow in Martin Sheen’s steps haha)- but this morning, I’m thinking about how, really, every journey’s real destination is home.

I’ve been so dialed into the happenings around us; into the political scene; into the the polarizations of politics and race… It will be strange to be unplugged from that.. I wonder what America will look like when I return. I’ve actually not thought of this much. In fact, most of my motives for this trip are quite introspective (I had a friend look at me inquisitively with a raised eyebrow, and asked if it was safe to be so introspective)- so I just haven’t really thought in those grand scales of the state of society… But things are changing, shifting and moving in the US. I wonder if the America’s conscience will finally awaken… or if our generations-old structures of brokenness will weight us down.

…but as I write that, I realize I have the same questions for myself in my life- will my deep, created goodness formed in me by my Creator awaken? Or will I be forever weighed down by the sin and brokenness I have inherited?

In ways, I’m looking for my Steinbeck East of Eden “timshel” (translation: Thou mayest)- in which the characters negotiate the expectations of others in their roles as protagonists and antagonists on account of their family line… and finally, in the end, they finally hear the underlying, freeing timshel of their true Creator. The true gospel frees us to emerge out of the bonds of our inescapable sin and brokenness… and choose the good life God intended for us. If I want to see that freedom for my country, my church, my family, my staff team, my students… I guess I’ll need to experience some of that myself.

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