EACH HAS MUCH THEY WOULD LIKE TO DO AND SEE, to explore, and to experience in their lifetimes and in their hearts. I consider the vast assortment of people I could meet in my own intended future journeying: My hope being to sit and discuss ideas and share stories, each individually focused toward one end – understanding. Which, in turn defines my personal mission  – a notion that we are collectively on this earth to serve God and neighbor

If we proclaim Christ, there is a responsibility involved in the declaration, and it is in part that we are each witnesses and participants of the Gospel. To share, to show, to speak, and to be love right there in those intimate moments with our distant neighbors, this is what Christ described in His Great Commission.

I see their faces, and I can imagine their brightly lit eyes that reflect that this moment is a good one in spite of their difficult economic and social conditions.

My hope in this vision is that I have come to know their condition, their selves. Maybe I have truly come to know them.

The problem is that I sit with a memory that is not mine and I try to own it. I sit and I dream and wish and hope. But nevertheless I sit in discontentment and I forget the need to live and love right now.

The great Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius held a proverb that one should ‘confine themselves to the present.’ When reflective upon the notion of wanderlust this can be a very pressing assertion.

Many get lost in the romance and intrigue that follows world travel and missions, but they miss the point in the here and now.

When Christ called His church out into the Great Commission, He spoke of the journey as one that begins within our own neighborhoods and towns, and too abroad. But we must not lose the moment of need now speculating about the moment of need long down the road.

This seeking can be a dangerous one and can turn the concept of wanderlust, a simple desire for the attainment of experience and knowledge and sight, into a mere and awful lust of the flesh and worldly things.



Photo courtesy Rachael Seymour.
At what point is wanderlust simply lust?  Photo courtesy Rachael Seymour.

THE CONSTANT ATTENTION TO WANDERLUST CAN CREATE for a dangerous commentary while on short term mission trips. Serving a community with the inspiration to do so being the short sided desire to check places off our travels lists, or get random stamps to countries all over the world will harm the communities more than help them. It creates a barrier in their mind between the Church as it operates under human tutelage and one that radiates the message of its founder, Jesus Christ.

Christ had an enormous task before him in redeeming the world, one that would absolutely define his legacy, but he never hesitated from altering that path in order to attend to the present need around him.

Consider the woman who was bleeding internally and reached out in desperation to touch his cloak, believing fully doing this would heal her. Christ, on his way to revive a sick and dying, or already dead child, stopped to see to the woman’s needs.

His mission was monumental, but his mission was his neighbor first and foremost.

In applying this to our own lives, one of the most important ways of maintaining level perspective is in prayer. God transforms and restores in prayer and it is only through his redemptive powers that we fulfill any kind of personal mission here on earth.

My prayer for you today is one in which you sit in God and find rest in His path for you. It is a prayer in which we speak to God asking him to help find contentment where we are so that we may see how he will make this time, right now, beautiful.