If there is one person in my family that I feel I identify with the most, it is my grandmother. It is from her that I get my predilection for travel, or insatiable wanderlust from. Wikipedia describes the term wanderlust as "an ache for the distance." When I was a child, my grandmother would travel and send me piles of postcards (which I still have to this day) and bring me back souvenirs from all the far-away places she visited. She went to Disneyworld and brought me back stuffed Mickeys and told stories of riding through "It's a Small World." Almost thirty years later, I made it there with two kids in tow, who made fun of me as I cried while riding in the boat through the little doll world. She also brought me a cotton plant from the fields of Alabama, and described to me the shows she saw in New York City. With every trip and tale my longing grew. It was not surprising that she came to visit me many years later (at almost 80 years of age) when I lived in The Netherlands.
I have been blessed to experience many adventures, and to visit many parts of our country, as well as other countries. I am always amazed at this beautiful world God created. I always feel very insignificant when I am standing before another of His wonderful creations for the very first time. Genesis 1 speaks of how the earth was without form, and void, and then He spoke it into being. Who is the great person who discovered that the earth was round? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers (Isaiah 40:22).
I have a fascination for water. It would be impossible to live without water. Water is life-giving. In a spiritual sense, you need more than water, you need spirit. John 3:16 states unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Water stands for the physcial birth. Spirit refers to the spiritual birth that happens when you believe and come to know Jesus. I am not talking religion - I hate religion. I'm not the religious type. That's another story for another day. In 1990, while living overseas, I made a trek to the Belgian coast of the North Sea. I was 20 years old, and had never seen the ocean or sea before. It could not have been a more perfect moment. Giant sand dunes hid the sea from my view. I raced up the hill as fast as I could go. When I reached the top, I gasped as I looked out over the sea. It was what I call a "God moment." That day I not only saw the sea, but I touched, tasted, smelled and heard it. It became a part of me. Since then I have partaken of the Atlantic, the Pacific and other various waterways such as the Rhine River, Lake of the Ozarks, Resurrection Bay in Alaska, and Lake Koningsee (picture attached) in Bavaria. When I am by the water I feel cleansed, and free. I have pictures of my oldest child when she first learned to walk, running on Myrtle Beach. She loves to look at those pictures. She had not been to the ocean since. Two years ago, I took my girls to the ocean for the first time at Clearwater Beach in Florida. I was amazed at their reaction. My daughter lay down in the water and smiling said, "Mom, I feel like I'm home." My youngest was amazed by the shells along the beach. They watched baby dolphins playing in the water. Wanderlust. They are like me.
As an adult, I know I missed my calling. I truly believe that God instilled that "aching for the distance" within me for me to be a missionary. When I see images of Haiti, I long to be there. Let me refer back to my blog about "purpose." Sometimes our purpose involves those things we love and have a passion for. That's ok though, I know He has another plan for me. God is the god of second chances. Someday, I will take my kids on a short-term mission trip. They have that longing and love to serve mankind like me. Wanderlust with a purpose. I also have an aching for that distant place - my eternal home with the God of creation.
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. Genesis 1: 31