“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~Laozi (Chinese philosopher)
The journey I took to the other side of the world presented some very new experiences for me.
I traveled by coach bus, foot, subway, air train, air plane, and tuk tuk. The process–spotted with carting around sixty pounds of luggage for and hour and one half, exploring a Spanish dominated area of Elmhurst, New York, witnessing a car accident and changing in an airport bathroom in Taiwan–took about fifty-two hours.
It involved meeting new people. I’ll give you three that come quick to my mind. The first is a young man, who was heading to Ireland. Some might call him feminine. In reality, he is an introvert. A gentle soul, who will win the hearts of the young boys that he works with this summer. With a little bit of time and a lot of space, I got to chat with him while hunting down a frozen yogurt late one afternoon. It wasn’t anything huge, but it taught me something, contrary to the under current in my culture that says you have to be friendly out loud. Relationships, trust are built in steady, quiet faithfulness.
The second, my team member just about bumped into as we left a not-real-great Italian restaurant. Her black curly hair and the green on her outfit, hid a passion we did not get to witness. She was a Jesus lover, too. I prayed on her a blessing, as was part of our assignment. Then, it was time to return where we had come. She knew the game that we were made to play but didn’t help us. With a dignified smile, she left us to figure it out ourselves. I think we owe her a thank-you. Independence is gained in being allowed to fail.
The last that I will mention sat beside me all the seventeen hours from JFK to Taipei. She was on her way to visit family in Taiwan. She’s a Florida girl torn between the sweet-talking guy at work and a steady husband who gave her three lovely children. I pray that she stays strong to her morals and makes the right choice. I wish she would find a new job. Sometimes we are called to stand up to temptation. Sometimes its braver to move away. I wish that I could tell her that a guy who pushes her convictions is not worth having around whatever his charms may be. I think she knows it already. She commended me for waiting for a “mature” man, since I am twenty two and–gasp–don’t even have a boyfriend!
A friend told me that traveling to the other side of the world would put things into perspective. I think it’s gonna take more steps in my journey to get the whole picture.