One of our young friends was embarking on an extended road trip, which aroused a lot of family discussion. Among the several questions, the one that held the most conversation time was: why might this be a good use of one’s time? It led us into the several-week long discussion about gaining perspective. Life permitting, everyone could benefit from a retreat. A rest. A time to focus on few things; things that matter. To reflect on life, and what matters.
You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything. – John Maxwell
We discussed how almost every year that I went to Idaho in the summertime for our family reunion (a tradition that carries on still) as a younger girl, I learned something new that impacted my life significantly. Things that I’ve carried with me into adulthood.
Our last road trip was to Arizona for a couple of weeks with our whole little family. Getting out of our comfort and familiar zones, we were able to experience new things and – most importantly – learn together. How to be flexible, adaptable, to see from others’ perspectives – to serve. To be reminded that our wee little life bubble is simply that: a bubble. That life is much larger than our wee bitty (seemingly huge sometimes) issues. This can clear a lot of fog.
Here are some things that we all spoke about on our return from holidays in Arizona, true to many’a times we’ve taken a reprieve:
Road tripping and vacationing make me realize how little we want.
We live in a culture of consumerism. It’s not something I want to be a part of. And so, with renewed energy, we see our things differently on our return. We realize that the bulk of our things are non-essentials. That they are easily replaced or shared or borrowed. And that sometimes they take more space visually, mentally and resourcefully than they’re worth. We also realize that our time may not always be managed well, and extra activities also may need to be reconsidered & some purged. Knowing when to gracefully say “no” is a good thing.
Road trips & vacationing made me realize we always end up sleeping in the same space.
Sure, we visited lots of places that sported beds for all, but still we’d end up squashed together – usually spending the late night dark hours talking about the day. When camping, we always end up sardines in our rig or tent. Even in the bus, all four kiddo’s end up crammed on the wee futon to sleep instead of the double bunks when they pull an all-nighter out there. Every morning at home, for at least a half hour, everyone’s piled in our bed. It’s time we cherish. And recognize there is little need for so many mattresses. It’s a luxury we’ve noted unnecessary but handy from time to time.
Road tripping and vacationing make me realize how very not-real Facebook is. It also reminded me not to take it too seriously. And that friendship/communication (or lack of it) on it doesn’t count for diddly.
I have learned to be very comfortably using the “do not follow” button, restrict button, and [less often] the “block” button. Because folks can pursue me in real life, not glean in a false world without investment.
We’re pretty old school with our phones. Our family currently shares one non-smart flip phone (one that has better coverage than any of our smart-phone-friends, I might add). That means that when the kids and I are in town (and Scott’s got the phone at work with him) – or when the family’s on vacation – we don’t really give a rip what’s happening on social networks. The drama of people’s opinions – and my incessant need to respond just as excitedly – now come out in face-to-face communication. Our conversations, in turn, tend to be more civil as we practice manners and listening skills. Our differences (or similarities) are more productive and beneficial to relationship and life.
The adverse affect is that it makes us want to have a little too much “fun” when we get back to posting on social networks. Because it just isn’t real. It’s entertainment, at best.
Road tripping and vacationing make me realize I should not be afraid of people.
We are faced with this conundrum daily as we face ‘superiors’ and ‘inferiors’ in our workplace, business, schools, church… heck, even the grocery store – despite knowing what God’s Word says about who we “follow” or to think less of, even subconsciously. Always comparing. Our culture defines value based on position, instead of recognizing the wholeness of each individual together in community. As we walk away from familiar politics and social circles, we are free to be just us together. In all of our mistakes, our smarts, our stupid, and our yearning-to-grow-ness. There are fewer expectations and pedestals, and there is a lot more humility, raw reality, and growing on all our parts. A lot of lovin’. It fosters an environment of regeneration. And it’s our natural inclination to bring that home with us, reminding us to pursue that perpetual ideal within our community.