As the Bicycle Adventure nears, I've been pondering what it is that excites me about this trip. First, and perhaps the biggest draw, is that I get to spend a week with my dad. He planted in me the idea of riding a bike for long distances when I was a teenager and we were considering riding from our home in Texas to my grandparents' home in Florida.
Beyond that, though, what's getting me pumped about this trip is the opportunity recognize again what it means to be human.
What I mean is this. As I write this, I'm sitting in a corporate coffee shop (not the one you might think) at 8:15 in the morning in downtown Denver. The only reason I'm here is because I'm waiting for the flat on my car to be repaired. Otherwise, I'd be on my way to work.
I'm sitting here, though, watching people rush by, or at least walk with intentionality and purpose, on their way to someplace that's apparently pretty important ~ many of them on their way to work like I would be, if I didn't have a flat.
I don't know whether everyone else is like me, but I tend to get wrapped up in the day-to-day, here-and-there, respond-to-the-demands nature of having a job in our society. There are two things that, pretty quickly, jolt me out of the tedium of the monotonous ordinary ~ both of which are related to this adventure I'm embarking on very soon.
One is travel. Moving through time and space (especially traveling by not-airplane) reminds me that we're created to be in relationship with one another. Traveling provides the opportunity to meet new people, and (if you're not traveling alone) to get to know your friends better.
The other is staying in one place. I don't mean the regular 'get-up, go-to-work, come-home, go-to-bed, repeat' kind of staying in one place. I mean taking the time to really get to know the patch of ground where you live, or the neighborhood that you call home, Creating a real, comfortable, safe home into which a person can sink deep roots (remembering that roots don't have to be permanent to be deep). This is the kind of work the Fuller Center does, and I'm proud to be a very small part of that work.
In addition, travel and staying deeply in one place both force me into a different relationship with myself. These force me, in different ways than the ordinary of the rest of life, to remember that it's not all about me.