I like to go new places and meet new people. In that way, I suppose I could be considered to have an episode of "Wanderlust" here and there. When I feel a need for a break from the status quo, one of the best ways for me to reflect and recharge is to go to a place where I can listen, talk ( of course) with folks of similar vocation, and wait upon God to tap my shoulder here and there as if to say; "Yup you are on the right track here and hey you should head this way soon."
Sometimes I need to leave town for a bit to recharge, sometimes going on a walk or run does the trick, and sometimes I come across a book that speaks to my heart like like having coffee with a dear friend who knows who I am, and loves me anyway.
Reluctant Pilgrim by Enuma Okoro a true-story-telling of quote " A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert's Search of Spiritual Community.". For me, it was a break away for me to read and it allowed some things I've been wondering about to rise to the surface of my mind's eye. Enuma is graceful in how she shares her story of growing up in her family and participating in worship at the local Catholic parish, moving to new places due to her parents divorce, attending seminary and learning how that all translated into her experience of church into her adult years. Her style is honest, blunt at times and challenging (in a very kind way) to the reader. At one point in the book, she says: "I don't have all the answers, but I'm happy to pose the hard questions."
If I had to say what her story had to say, without of course telling you all the good parts; here is what I would say was shared and how it was paced:
Experience life. Assess your life. Step back from life. Reflect on life. Adapt to life's changes. Listen to your life and God speaking into it. Step up to life. Share life. Grieve, laugh, dance, worship God and live your life!
For a person that ended up settling only about 25 miles away from where they were born, it would not seem like I've traveled much. But I do love every opportunity I've had to see some of the places I'd only dreamt of going as a child. (New Orleans, Colorado, Chicago, New York...) However, all travels are not ones that happen by planes, trains and automobiles. The spiritual journey is one that does not always require mass transit. I've done my own share of wandering and reading Enuma's story reminds me that I'm not alone in it. I know that God has be present with me in all of the transitions of life, but it's good to hear of someone else's experiences when they have been in that desert place.
We all long for something in life: purpose, love, hope, to make the world a better place; but in reading this book I was reminded of how my longings and God's can line up together (although that process is hard at times) so the wandering, wondering and wanderlust take me closer to the heart of God.
Reluctant Pilgrim was like water in the desert and coffee conversation with a dear friend; just what I needed in this leg of the journey.
To read Enuma's blog go here, to read a segment go here or purchase it by visiting Fresh Air Books and to friend her on Facebook - (she'd love that) - go here.