The Endless Horizon of an Open Mind
Travel is a state of the heart. It’s the thirst for novelty and adventure that, like the salt water we so often travel over, allows us to gulp but increases the thirst. Just on the border of our everyday reality lies the Sublime and His reality, which can be discovered not through geographical exploration, but consciousness expansion.
How is this approach to life that sees God’s unity in diversity awakened? Well firstly, I’ve discovered that an essential aspect of it is a unique view of time in which the call of adventure and not the ticking of the clock dictates when action is to be taken. Forget the lights and camera, it’s time for action...now!
I love travelling and throwing caution to the wind! So much so that God set me up on a double date that resulted in a decade-long relationship with Serendipity and Synchronicity. The two aren’t possessive at all, and even encourage my two-timing! And wisely so, as being exclusively immersed in a single thing erases the possibility of distinction and therefore true appreciation of what you already have.
They say if you only know one culture you know no culture at all. This can be verified by the ironic fact that my African roots have never grown down so deeply as when I withdrew them from the soil and scattered them in the ocean. Sometimes life needs to be temporarily lost in order to be wholly found. Isn’t Scriptural truth mirrored in practical reality? Yip, the sky is mirrored in the ocean, and both require in-depth knowledge of the currents in order to ride them effectively.
The world of a travelling surfer can more spiritual than the stereotype portrays. As a surfer, my passion has taken me to five continents, and I have just returned from an around the world trip. The sleek pulsing of the majestic ocean produces waves of a different character in each. Just like there is a common humanity that underlies diverse cultures, surfing offers a unique yet uniting experience away from modern contamination. Balinese cliff fronts towering over turquoise-hued reefs call out to something primal within me. Costa Rican jungles that burst forth onto black sand beaches and bath-warm water erases the English winter with the first immersion. The Coolangata headland wraps swell around its smoothly tapered sandbank like the sea air helps my mind wrap around a smoothness that the Australian party life can’t offer me. Californian palm trees and colourful fashion light up the waters like they do the world-wide culture that it creates. But unlike culture and our fleeting existences, an eternal Presence roars in the oceans and our ventures across them.
But you can’t just bust air 360’s the first time you paddle out. You need thorough experience in the power of waves. As a parallel, black and white religion/morality may be able to show us the difference between the white water and the flat ocean (good and bad). But it is only by spending intimate time in the water that we learn how to ride the sweet spot of opportunity. It’s only when our religion comes alive that we hear God’s call that there’s a set wave on the horizon with our name on it. And when that happens, we pull into the barrel regardless of the outcome. Salt water up the nose after a wipeout cleanses the sinuses in the same way hard times can cleanse the soul if approached right.
Travel partners who I traverse these paths with for a spell come and go, and never leave me the same. But the God who invites me to flow with Him extends His perpetual protection and guidance along with the invitation. The blanket of protection He throws over us is sometimes as tangeable as it is vision-distorting. For example, I’ve always wanted to imbibe the spiritual air of India, but couldn’t see why the opportunity kept expelling me like a case of Delhi Belly. I once got my Indian visa while in Singapore. But when I tried to book my flight the website wouldn’t let me click confirm. After numerous attempts, I took this as a sign to think more carefully about it and cancelled. It turns out that the hotel I had listed on my visa application was targeted while I was supposed to be there. Terrorists tragically killed 200 UK and American passport holders. I have an American passport. I don’t know why some people die and some don’t, but God does. What I do know is that I would rather die living than live in zombie slumber.
So until I’m dead I won’t be buried in the ground of stagnation. Buried talents won’t grow and produce anything delicious. In the meantime, “Fortune favours the bold”, “Carpe Diem” and “The Travel Bug” are mere words unless lived. In the same way a life is mere potential unless seized. And don’t be afraid, but seizures are increasingly common in your own home town!