For nine months I planned the trip of a lifetime. A road trip west through Utah, Idaho, and Montana. The pinnacle destination being Glacier National Park. I ordered a travel book and read it cover to cover. I didn’t just read the book, I studied it.
I wanted to understand the regions of the park, I wanted to understand the lingo used in Facebook groups, which by the way are an amazing source of information. I wanted to be sure we saw everything we could possibly see. My biggest fear in planning this trip- arriving home to hear, “Oh you didn’t visit the double dip star trail? What a shame! It was by far the most beautiful scenery of the park.” Can you imagine!
I had to be sure we were prepared to experience everything Glacier had to wow us with. In my mind, this would be our one shot. We may never have this opportunity again. Therefore, I would be sure to plan it to perfection.
Research was my first stage. By research I mean reading my travel book and scouring the internet for hours a day. I read travel blogs, joined Facebook groups and stalked the posts, and planned and dreamed away. There was a span of a few weeks my children became concerned with my obsession. I rarely sit during the day. But here I was sitting hours a day for weeks researching this trip to death.
I dove so deep into my imaginings of this vacation that it dominated 90% of my waking thoughts. In the evenings, I’d attempt to share my newly discovered insights of the day with my family and would find them glassy eyed within minutes. We weren’t speaking the same language because they weren’t studying and eating and breathing all things Montana.
Once I’d completed my reading, the planning began. We stayed in four different locations, I planned multiple excursions. I memorized trail maps and plotted out which trails we’d hike on which days. I planned where we would eat for each meal. It was the most planned out adventure I’d ever undertaken.
It consumed me. Day and night I dreamed all things Glacier. And then a day came where a thought slipped right into my mind. That kind of thought that comes with such speed, it stops you in your tracks.
The whisper I heard said, “What if you planned for eternity the way you are planning for this trip.”
I was in the middle of making my bed when this thought whisper interrupted my morning routine. I stood up and simply froze for a moment. What if.
The thought whispered on repeat all day. What if you planned for eternity the way you planned for this trip.
This life is temporary. We forget so easily as we try to build our best life now. But the best is not now. We are living in the middle of the story. We are living in brokenness, hurt, anger, fear, and sin upon sin even while experiencing tastes of goodness and glimpses of heaven on earth. It’s fleeting. We must remember this is not the final destination.
I wrote this post 7 years ago titled Sometimes We Don’t Outgrow Homesickness. I think sometimes we live with a low grade homesickness that we attempt to assuage by focusing on creating our dream life now. However, we were created not for this world, but for the one to come. We are only passing through, and our job is to glorify God in how we sojourn.
“Even when I’m home with my husband and my boys, there is this subtle aching. This little voice that whispers to me about home. My true home.
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in life. Daily life. This family right here in front of me. We build our home, we build up our kids, we build our marriage, we build our 401K, we build our future.
More exciting than all that we build is what is being built for us. The home we will spend eternity in.
Investing in this earthly home is important. It’s necessary. Much of what we invest in here, is an investment towards our eternal home. Not a gaining of an eternal home, but a placing of our treasures into that home where we will spend forever.
Investing in my marriage, I’m placing my treasures into the home I’ll spend forever after death. Investing in the spiritual growth of my children, I’m placing treasures in the home I’ll spend forever after death. Investing in my 401K, it’s important, but it’ll burn. It’ll be eaten away and devoured. It won’t make it into the treasury of my eternal home.” Excerpt from Sometimes We Don’t Outgrow Homesickness.
It’s one year later and God continues to remind me of the day He whispered to me the question that will direct me everyday going forward. What if I live my life as an eternal wanderluster rather than merely an earthly wanderluster? What if my love for travel was always to reveal to me there is a grander destination to plan for that my mind can’t even conceive. What if I studied and obsessed over eternity the way I do over my travel plans that come and go so quickly? What if.
Joy would overflow. Gratitude would pour forth. Hope would never wane. Grace would grow. Love would ignite. Anxiety would decrease.
“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2