Adventurers and Wayfarers, Pt. 2

I am an adventurer. I travel through life with wide eyes, looking for the beauty and choosing to have a better attitude. I refuse to let my life be a tea party. I refuse to let my life be an ordeal. I want adventure, and I will live it.

But I am more than just an adventurer. I am also a wayfarer.

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
I’m traveling through this world of woe
Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright land to which I go

I’m going there to see my Father
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m just a-going over Jordan
I’m just a-going over home

I want to wear a crown of glory
When I get home to that good land
I want to shout salvation’s story
In concert with the blood-washed band

I’m going there to meet my Savior
To sing his praise forever more
I’m just a-going over Jordan
I’m just a-going over home

One of the most melancholic, haunting folk songs I know is “Poor, Wayfarin’ Stranger,”  an American song originating from the Appalachian region during the 19th century.  It voices all the yearning, all the searching, and all the hopes of a tired traveler trying to make it to paradise. I believe it puts song to the aching feeling Christians get when they think of home, so much so that I would be happy if it was played one day at my funeral.

It’s so easy to forget sometimes, but without a doubt for me, and for all other Christians: This world is not our home. As beautiful and wonderful as this world is, it is rotting. And it was never Real, not like Heaven.

As a child, when I would finish The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis I would put the book down with a heavy sigh, blinking back tears. My heart ached so much that my chest physically hurt, as though I was pulled toward the real and perfect world. This homesickness for a place I have never lived will only be fulfilled when I get home. And until then, I’m a wayfarer, trudging through a world full of sorrow, pain, and sickness just trying to make it home.

This paradox, of adventurer and wayfarer, is something that every Christian wrestles with, similar to being “in the world but not of it.”  But it is this paradox that, I believe, brings balance to our lives and to the lives of others. We know we don’t belong here, in the end. We know we’re just passing through. But we also see all the beauty and wonder still left in the world, and revel in it because that’s what it’s there for: to make our mouths drop and our hearts burst until we are just overcome with creation, as fallen as it is.

Every view that takes my breath away, every moment filled with laughter is a gift for an adventurer. And every step that leads us closer to the most beautiful views, the most joy-filled time puts my wayfaring heart that much closer to home.

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