Six weeks of travel are drawing to a close. In that time we have walked part of the Camino, traveled to the Arctic Circle, and visited friends and family. We have driven, and flown, thousands of kilometres. But there have been other journeys. Our marriage has reached 38 years and we still discover more about each other every day – especially in the tense traveling moments! There are the journeys of family and friends; the illnesses, the ethical dilemmas, the faith questions and so on. Each of these becomes a mirror we can hold up to ourselves and ask, “How would I respond? How would I deal with the issues and problems?” Often times there are no simple answers and no black and white truths.
Our lives have intersected with others: sometimes fleetingly – the grumpy Spanish waiter, the traffic police who caught me using a bus lane, fellow campers and many others. Even that fleeting moment can leave an impression. How did we respond to the grumpy waiter or the unhelpful garage attendant – especially when we were lost or seemingly helpless?
Our lives are enriched by experiences and our responses to them. So as I fly home on the last leg from Kuala Lumpur, the question I must wrestle with is: how will, or can this accumulation of experiences and events make me a better person, or more importantly, more Christlike.
The range of questions is as varied as the people we met and situations we encountered. For example, there are fellow evangelicals to support in Barcelona. Or, how should I respond to the beggars at nearly every door of the large churches across much of Europe? Are there ways my view of the world can assist my own society at home grapple with its demons. And how has all this advanced my understanding of God?
Now the busy-ness is over, and life returns to normal, there is much to reflect, and act, upon.