Tomorrow morning I leave for Greece. It's for the college's two week academic travel program, where the whole school is off for two weeks and everyone goes in professor-led groups to different places all over the world. I'm quite excited about it, though other feelings are mixed in there too. So, since I'm going to be gone and without internet access for some time, I thought I would leave you with some of my thoughts of late to ponder over--if you so choose. These are actually stemmed or even quoted from some emails I written recently too.
I've been thinking about adventure and beauty (a few posts ago) a little bit recently, because if any time in my life where I would be feeling adventuresome and alive I would think it would be now. When I think about it though, I'm so not sure that I am. And I don't know why exactly. Perhaps I would be if I were more connected to Christ through community and such here. But I have really been questioning that so called "adventurous life" that I've always thought about. I mean does it exist, truly? The beauty that I see here is so amazing--both natural and man-made, but it really isn't fulfilling. It is amazing, but it lacks something. It feels empty without my friends and family to share it with. Yet I think even with them it would still be missing something. I think it's that complete life--where it would need to be with all of those things, and God around and through it all. I mean, beauty alone or family alone or any of those things by themselves cannot be satisfying--and that includes adventure.
I think reality is starting to creep it's way into my life--or fight rather to get myself to acknowledge it, but I'm so far from reality that it's having a hard time. And now this trip to Greece is just like going further away into magical fairy tale land. I mean it's kind of cool but maybe only in the way that a fun dream is fun when you know it's a dream. Because you also know that sooner or later you're going to wake up and the dream will just be an illusion. But this is real, in a way. It's weird. I don't know if this is making sense. Maybe it's just a really complicated way of saying that I'm...It's not lonely. But something close to that. Missing something, like I was saying above. I wish I could know what it is. It's not God. It's not any one thing perhaps. But all this beauty here doesn't fulfill it. Is it glory? Maybe that's what it is. There is a lack of glory in this place of life. Not glory for myself of course. And you could call it glory to God, but in a very full way--not just in my thoughts of giving him glory. Like the glory that God receives through so many things, like through family and friends and community and other things. I think I am only seeing that glory to God through beauty, which is amazing, but not enough.
I don't mean to diminish this experience in any way. It is amazing and a once in a lifetime thing. I think though that it is an example of something that we can in a way idolize or put up way too high. Like striving for something so much because you think it is amazing, but then once you have in a way reached your goal, it isn't quite the rapture that you thought it would be. Perhaps if I explain it in metaphor...Tomorrow starts something that is almost completely new. And when I come back it will be the second half, and everything is down hill after that. More than perhaps anything in my life these next two weeks feel like that summit of a mountain I've climbed. And I get to revel at the top for some time, but then the way back down will be so much harder. I have worked so hard and focused so much on getting to this mountain, and a lot of it has been for getting up it. But now that I'm at the top (nearly) I am wondering if it was all really worth it. And at the same time I am trying to savor it all on my way down, all the while really wanting to be at the bottom. Maybe it will become a little more concrete while I'm away and I'll understand it more. That would be nice.
So these are my thoughts, tonight, on the eve of another adventure. They're pretty personal I realize, in fact I've taken most of them from emails that I've sent people. I hope they're not offended that I shared those thoughts with other people. And I hope my being so open hasn't put you off either. Especially if you think that I'm complaining--because I am definitely not. I think I'm trying to say that this mountainous adventure actually is great, but in the way a mountain is great. It's not the plains, and it's not the ocean. And if you love the plains, or anything in life enough, dwelling in a place apart from that--no matter how amazing, will not satisfy that inner urge that you've always had to live somewhere else. It's deeper than that .
Perhaps I've thoroughly confused you. I may have even confused myself at this point. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I'll be back on here in two weeks!