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Vagabond with Roots and Purpose

July 19, 2008


Leaning out the window, rain water drips down wetting the back of my hands. My eyes turn upward to see the overcast sky and a gentle downpour. My gaze ventures down five stories again and a traffic line of floating umbrellas pass by in a most graceful manner. I can only imagine the faces underneath the moving shelter.

Sighing, I turn inward again, now inhaling a breath of air tainted by cigarette smoke. I begin dreading the thought of having to be bound in this hotel all day due to rain. Instead, Tara and I gear up to face the rain. To my surprise, the rain did not keep Koreans bound to their homes. The streets are filled with people as well as the malls crawling with shopping addicts. To a country that experiences a rainy season every year, the rain poses no threat. The people have become accustomed to it and bare the rain with no hesitancy. Women in heals, skirts, and plush purses…men in nice pants. The rain makes no difference to the locals. Tara and I are quite impressed.

Dropping off my key at the front desk and heading for the elevator, the man at the desk kindly motions to me that it is raining. I nod and point to my rain jacket, putting the hood over my head. He motions to wait and then comes back with an umbrella which he offers to me. I can not believe his generosity. It challenges me as I wonder if I would have done the same thing had I been in his shoes. Knowing that I probably wouldn’t have, I am a little embarrassed and reluctant to accept his offer, but I graciously accept and thank him with a slight smile and bow. I suppose I have no idea how to really say thank you, as I can not even remember how to say thank you in Korean. This language is so foreign to me–nothing sounds familiar. Mulling over this simple act, I find that such experiences tend to alter my mindset and open my eyes to a way of living that is foreign to me and yet should be familiar.

Looking into another culture can some how strangely be like looking into a mirror, as you begin to see things about yourself that were hidden to you before but now stand out like a sore thumb. You begin to see the markings of your culture over your personality and character…the experiences of your culture that have helped form you…these little indentions all over. These things look at you with a most powerful gaze and some how they were hidden, only to be recognized once outside the bounds of their own origin.

Another day in Asia, and I can barely grasp the reality that I am 6,000 miles from a place I call home. Transition here seems to be smooth for several reasons. One being that Korea is far more developed than the Latin American countries I have lived in previously; my job requires me to speak English all day long (which I have correlated my homesickness with the expanse of my language barrier on many occasions); I’ve had Tara to experience and process everything with; and God has really been a covering for me–orchestrating everything and leading me this whole time.

I wonder how I will feel several months from now. Regardless, I am enjoying the newness of everything and feeding the hunger I have for adventure, culture, and travel. It’s like a sickness. A bug that you are born with that does not go away. It can only be satiated by the adventure itself, no matter how short or close to home the trip may be. A mere weekend excursion, a road trip across the country, or a one-way flight to Asia as in this case.

People such as myself must realize that roots and having an anchor are good and to be desired. Being a vagabond is not necessarily the answer to such deep hungers. There is something real about needing to have the Lord settle your wandering soul. In the end, it’s not about all the places you’ve traveled or ventured to, but rather the places of your heart that have been uncovered and shared, the people you’ve encountered, the intimacy you’ve experienced with the Lord, and His love that is shared along the way.

In a post-modern culture that thrives on experience, I’m afraid I’m a walking product of the scene. My only desire is that I seek the Lord over my hunger for adventure and experience. I want to be one who only experiences things as the Lord calls–that I would not be so concerned with an experience as I am with the purposes of the Lord. I want to be subject to the requirements of the King.

Adventure in itself can become an idol when it is placed above our relationship with the Lord. I find that a relationship with the Lord usually takes you on adventures and is an adventure in and of itself. Perhaps the adventures depend upon the person and personality or perhaps not. I can see those faithfuls who have been loyal to one community their entire lives and have no desire to venture out. I admire their stability and roots. I also see those who have the roots but also venture out from time to time.Admirable as well.

No matter– I have a traveling shelter and security in the Lord. Where I am there I am and He is in me and surrounding me. As long as my roots are deeply planted in Him… because in the end, we are just passing through–but with purpose.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 25, 2008 4:47 pm

    Beautiful Dyanne! I love the part about our hearts being uncovered and shared…and that whole passage! And I too am one to love experiences, so thanks for the challenge and inspiration to seek the Lord and see what He brings for experience. I love and miss you! Sarah Brown (don’t have a blog, so I had to be anonymous…)

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