In an age of of cheap tickets and airplanes, easy access to cars and and other modes of transportation, there is a natural tendency to always be on the move. I am not sure if my first flight, which ended with an engine on fire and a kid’s dream realized in sliding down the emergency slide, was a contrarian attractor but I was drawn to living a life of travel before I realized there was such a thing.
Through out my life, when there was an opportunity to be somewhere else, I took it. Hitchhiking to a wedding did not seem like a bit deal, although it was two thirds the way across the continental U.S. Before or since, I have never taken a risk this big, but heading out that dark night from Pendleton Oregon for Benton Harbor Michigan seemed as natural response to the invitation to my cousin’s wedding when I could not afford a bus ticket. Perhaps my enthusiasm for pursuing the unknown was too strong, I remember many details but not how much a bus ticket would have been as the safe option.
Metaphorically it never stopped. As comfortable as I became with strange cities, unknown hotels, and many different modes of transportation, the reality is that not everyone was always comfortable with my decision.
In a reflective moment I asked my daughter an open ended question, “Where do you want to live when you grow up?”
Without hesitation, “I want to live in a place where they know my name. I want to walk into the store and see people that I know. I want to be able to go downtown and run into old friends.”
If you asked me for what my heart desires, it would start with something similar. “I want to know a God who knows me. I want to be one of the chosen ones, where “God registers their names in his book: ‘This one, this one, and this one – born again, right here.’” (Psalm 87.6)”
My God knows your name and mine, inside and out.