My life is full of journeys. This one is almost over. Today in the wake of Thanksgiving week, I am thinking about journeys. The paths that wind and twist this way and that. The thing about journeys is that they are always temporary.
I’ve been reading this book called, Through the Painted Deserts, by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller. It’s kind of an old storyline. Jack Kerouac did it with On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Robert Pirsig did it with Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace, and from what I hear, it’s behind The Motorycle Diaries, the story of Che Guevera.
But it’s still a good story. A couple of people, sick of the commercialism of modern life, travel the country on a shoestring budget to find out what else there is. Along the way, they meet interesting people, have car trouble, ponder life, and try to keep the trip going as long as they can before the money runs out. Miller’s is unique because his characters ponder God, looking for him in all things. The classic storyline certainly includes spiritual inquiry, but usually concludes with some sort of adaptation of Eastern philosophy and/or socialism. Miller’s just ends with having a more concrete understanding of his own faith.
I had read Miller’s most famous book, Blue Like Jazz, several years ago. But I had forgotten what an excellent writer he is. His narration is sheer poetry. Beautiful descriptions and not overly showy either. It’s something of an encouragement to me as a writer. Sometimes I get so caught up in calendars and deadlines, that I forget that my writing could be that way if I took the time to do it.
Anyway, this book has gotten me thinking about journeys and paths. All life is a journey. I’ve always loved this part of it. But the problem comes when you enjoy a part of the journey. Then your heart is torn that it’s time to say goodbye. But we move through life like the waves, ebbing and flowing through one another’s lives. Laughing, loving and moving through it all. Each phase of the journey we grow closer to our destinies, to whom we were created to be. And that’s what makes the journey so beautiful.
I am excited to see what’s beyond this bend. It’s hidden behind the brush and as I float along, I can’t see what lies beyond. I simply have to trust that God is there. Watching. Waiting. A steady, strong hand through it all.