God knows I love adventure. I love learning. I love seeing new things. When it comes to new turfs and the "never before" – I can be like age thirteen me in a cotton candy store – also, 30 year old me, and so on :)
I’m also a bit of a USA geek so I get a kick out of traveling through states. Just a couple of months ago, I stepped foot in 5 states in 24 hours. Would ya believe it?! I felt like I was playing map hopscotch and a bouncing arrow was following me everywhere. What did it look like from heaven? What did God see from His exclusive aerial view? Though I’d been in 4 out of the 5 states before, I couldn’t escape how this world was its own wonder – every state had its own flavor. Its own reality. Its own kind of population, scheduled festivities or lack thereof.. I went from Kentucky Derby to having a slice of New York pizza before finally laying my head to rest in sweet and silent, southern Virginia after traveling by foot, plane, and the backseat of a car.
And on planes, I'm like many of the rest of us. Amused and glued to the window seat. Just before I sleep, my eyes get wide and my imagination leaps to life again. Whole towns disappear and moving cars morph into cloud and sky. I look out – and I am overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by the pleasure of knowing that wherever I am, He is. I succumb to the idea that I could not escape His knowing - neither in concrete jungle or countryside. It brings me joy and rest. That in all of what’s new and unknown to me – nothing is new or unknown to Him. He is familiar with each place – each person – each preoccupation, each day. New to me, never to Him.
Nothing is mystery. Nothing is hidden. Nothing is unknown.
Yet He keeps watch of us daily, as if all is new to Him. How committed is He?
I’m wanderlusting to the max here, can’t you see the swirls? :) - but part of being a wanderlust is always wanting more, always seeking more, getting out, getting free, finding something new to go goo-goo GAH over and then moving on to the next. It then never fails, though. While in the swirl of seeking more, I’m led to the same deeper place – where there’s something more precious, a weighty constant more worth my time – only Jesus.
One of my favorite books in the bible is Ecclesiastes. The writer, Solomon, explores the world with its joys and sorrows – folly and fulfillment, the circles of life, its comings and goings, and he lands on one conclusion. None of it matters – and if it did – BARELY.
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!" (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (AMP) “All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.”
The pursuit of happiness – entertainment – wealth – and all – is natural for the human on this fallen earth, but it won’t fulfill. It will always, never be enough. And whether our certain emptiness is felt as a gaping hole or an ever-piercing prick to the soul, the journey to fulfillment has the potential take on its own failing form as we get creative trying to address the yearning. We are either destructive, or addictive, without boundaries or letting go of good sense. At our worse, we are ignorant of God, and what we really need --the security of being intimately known and loved by Him --that certain assurance of inherent worth and being enjoyed, simply because we were born. This need, is hard to place and trace until met with the acknowledgment that each of our empty pursuits would never find these pleasures as an end. They would never be enough - and that is the end of it.
This is where Solomon steps in with good sense delivered fresh on a platter of wisdom, free of charge.
Like a cheat sheet for the hardest test - he takes a journey and saves us time.
Here he comes --- serving us with the fullness.
Fear God. Get God. Know God.
In all that he's experienced, all that he’s seen – fields of beauty, life in bounty, feasts, wealth, laughter, sorrow and earthly “success” - it all didn't matter.
Likewise, we could be enjoying our lives, and there be nothing bad about that, but in the end, still find, that what’s temporary pails in significance against the backdrop of eternity.
“I observed everything going on under the sun, and really, it is all meaningless--like chasing the wind.”
Big beautiful world.
But nothing else matters.
Here enters Jesus. Perhaps not in this Old Testament book, but overall, in my wanderlust heart as our true north and end to this grand story of redemption and fulfillment as told in the Bible.
He’s the reason anything matters, actually. Anywhere I go – I’d need Him. His companionship & leading. And when this all ends, I’ll need Him even more.
Jesus. All in All. Author and Finisher. Hope. Sure foundation. Steady friend. Eternal security. Joy - everlasting.
This earth – it’s the Lord’s. I, in it, belong to Him. Thankfully, there is no where I can go where He could not locate me, nor where I’d not ultimately want to be found.
So while I’m hopping here and there, seeking the next thrill – it’s still only Him. And my real life, my good life, is still hidden with Christ. In God. In the safety of fellowship with Him, wherever I am.
Psalm 139:8 “If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths of the grave, you are there.”
I’m not going to lie. Besides loving adventure, I think a lot of us wanderlusts love to escape real life and its responsibilities. We are inner hippies. Just wanting to be free. Just wanting space. Just needing a moment away.
But in those moments – when I’ve had my due fun or loads of rest, and I want more - or I need the comfort of a close answer. It’s Him. Still only Him that satisfies.
And I may actually like the "noise of wonder" while claiming it’s quiet.
But it's not - not always.
The quietest place – the best place - is in the deepest cavity of my soul that would find itself seeking Jesus desperately - the quiet is in the place that would determine He’s the answer and that I want Him most. The quietest place – where noise cannot show up, is not in the wondering at all - it's the peace of a mind stayed on the wonder of Him.
And the quiet I seek out in the mountains - is really found in the permission I grant my heart to be satisfied in Christ today - at work, in traffic, at the grocery store, and in a very vital, intimate relationship with Him.
I may be like you - I love an airplane. I love the hotels, the locals, the attractions, all of it. I love scenic routes, rainforest tours, and vacation pals I meet along the way – but the Jesus-loving wanderlust in me can't help but return to this truth - it still bows and says.. Jesus is Lord and will hold all my fascination.
The excitement of a few moments in great places doesn't compare with being found in the wandering.
So if I'm gonna travel the world and behold its beauty - we're going to have to go hand in hand – and the beauty starts with Him.
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You."
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”
Are you a wanderlust?
Where do your searches lead you?
Ever ask yourself what you're looking for, and do you conclude that it even matters?