The Journey of a Lifetime

Journeying may be the quintessential metaphor for life. None of us can call this world our ultimate home, particularly if we believe the Bible. From Abraham’s journey to the land of Ur and Moses’ trip toward the Promised Land in the Old Testament to Jesus’ walk across the Sea of Galilee and Paul’s travels to Mars Hill in the New Testament, it is common for saints to act on their faith by journeying somewhere.

Our patriarchs’ journeys are all the more impressive given the challenges of ancient travel. Suffice it to say that to “walk the walk” of faith in those days was no walk in the park. However, aiding them in their ventures was the practice of traveling lightly. To effectively move about it was customary to only pack what they could comfortably carry on their person or, at the most, their beast of burden.

While we have much more sophisticated means of travel at our disposal today we are nonetheless left with the continuing challenge of traveling lightly through life, both literally and figuratively. Sometimes our heaviest baggage is not the luggage we carry but the emotional burdens we bear. Yet armed with the type of faith our forebears used to blaze trails before us, we also can reach our own promised lands.

A friend recently shared with me that a famous Brazilian photographer, Sebastiao Solgado, spent time traveling with the nomadic Nenets who move their reindeer herds hundreds of miles each year to seasonal pastures. Solgado reported that “I learned from them the concept of the essential...if you give them something they can’t carry, they won’t accept it.” It would benefit us all to consider what “the concept of the essential” means to each of our journeys.