In my travels to Honduras over the last few weeks I came across a large number of backpackers.
I had many a fantastic conversation with them and God opened my eyes through their friendships.
These modern nomads are often natives of Western Europe or the United States who roam the unbeaten track in search of adventure and a sense of purpose.
They take nothing more with them than they can carry on their back and they thrive on a shoestring budget.
A rough bunch of 20-somethings with little in the way of family or friends to tether them to a specific locale.
Characterized by an insatiable wanderlust that drives them to live their lives on the edge, these wanderers really caught my attention.
They are the bold ones of our society.
The few with the guts to turn their backs on the american dream and search for something of more lasting significance.
They are also some of the most friendly and accepting people I have ever met.
They fully realize just how different they truly are, A realization which makes them all the more accepting of the different cultures and peoples they encounter on the road.
No matter where you fall on the religious spectrum, are still accepted and valued in this unique community.
Some of the most real, transparent, and beautiful conversations I have ever had about God have been with backpackers on a crowded bus or a dingy hostel.
But above all of this, one thing characterizes and drives these wanderers,
They are always searching for more.
More life, more hope, more peace, more truth, more love, more joy.
They realize that there is far more to life then wasting ones days away in the pursuit of money, security, and fame.
Maybe we, the Church, could learn something from this bold people.
Many of us are living quarantined lives void of any real purpose or passion.
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
We have no inkling of an idea what would happen if we actually let go of our petty pursuits and really lived recklessly for the sake of our savior and so we never really try.
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
Do we really believe this?
That there is unimaginable joy to be found not only in the next life, but also in this one.
Or are we content with “making mud pies in a slum?”
These are the questions I have had to ask myself.
Just like the backpackers I encountered, I too have an intense longing for something more.
Yet, my hope is in Christ alone, and in him I believe I will encounter the fullness of joy and purpose.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”