Three and a half weeks ago I took off for a new adventure in an already well-known place (see blog posts from last year in July ;) ): Once again I joined the community to volunteer at The Way Guesthouse on the island of Crete – the house that used to be a family home and which we transformed step by step into a guesthouse.
If I’m honest, I felt restless. Not only once. Not all the time either. But I struggled getting rid of this restlessness, because sometimes I didn’t even know where it came from. While in Crete I came across a quote by Kevin DeYoung (in: Just do something, p. 44):
“Anxiety is simply living out the future before it gets here.”
In some way I felt the burden and the pressure of not knowing what’s gonna happen in the near future (where in the world am I gonna live? Where/When will I find a job? ). There are moments when I barely care. Not that it is unimportant to me, but I know that my life is in God’s hands and it will turn out well. And there are other moments when I feel the pressure of society, the voice of reason and maybe even my own fear of going in the wrong direction (and then the big question is: what is “wrong” at all? Who considers it as wrong?). For me, the only thing that helped is putting it all down at the feet of Jesus Christ. In the Bible He commanded us not to worry about the future (see the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6 verses 25-34). It took me a while to get to this point, realizing that once again I started being self-centered where I shouldn’t be.
Thoughts like these cost a lot of energy. They make you tired. Exhausted. And that’s what I felt.
And then, something else happened that interrupted our lives, our routine. A dear friend of the team lost her husband. He drowned in the sea. I did not get to meet him and also I met his wife only once before it happened. We were shocked and I tried to do as much as I could at the guesthouse so the rest of the team (who knew the family better) could be with her as much as possible. Besides the tragedy, this brought us more together as a team.
A week later, I got another call that made me change my travel plans. A family member got sick and I decided to return home early. So here I am now. Not in the (geographic) place where I had planned to be. Not doing the stuff I wanted to do. And still, I know it was the right decision to come back and be with my family.
Don’t get this wrong. I loved those three weeks in Crete that challenged me so much and we also had wonderful moments. I love hospitality and every time I prioritized a conversation over stuff that I had to do, I was glad I did. And I know that compared to others these struggles might seem so small (at least the ones that were just in my head). I’m just saying… for me, travelling is not escaping from my life, but it is part of my life. And so are the joys and struggles that come with it. That’s what I wanted to share today. Thanks for reading.
|The climb to the cave was absolutely worth it! |
Photo credits: Cameron Muilenberg