Those particular moments — sometimes big or small — and sometimes even not so particular, but a little vague and somewhat difficult to grasp….you know, such as when you’re hiking through the mountains and suddenly you break out into a clearing that bathes your view with the spectacular sublimity of nature, or when you’re lying on a hammock on a lazy afternoon listening to a song that’s dear to your heart, or even when you spontaneously decide to do something bold and outrageous like tag along with your friends on a backpacking trip through South America, with only an obscure idea of where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, or when you’ll be coming back. (I know, that was a hideous run-on and fragmented sentence combination, but we’ll just pretend it was poetic.)
Anyway, those types of moments are some of the ones that I oftentimes affectionately refer to as my “Walter Mitty Moments.” It comes from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which in short is about a guy who lives pretty much a boring life but boldly takes the risk to travel around the world on a wild adventure. I got the term from a good friend of mine who shares my enthusiastic passion for the beauty of life. Here is her blog in case I’ve stirred your curiosity: http://adventuringwithpurpose.wordpress.com/
So that South America trip that I just mentioned? Yes, that was more than just a random example. In fact, it shall be the most recent, and perhaps the biggest, Walter Mitty Moment that I’ve had in my life so far. Here’s the story. Several months ago, when she was in Germany, an old friend of mine, Chrystel, who is deeply passionate for people, unquestionably felt that God inspired her with the idea of taking a team on a trip down through South America. It would be somewhat of a mission’s trip, to establish contacts in some countries and reach out to whomever came across her path; but it would also have to be an audacious expedition of raw adventure. All of that is what drew me in. I had known about her trip for a long time, and at first I had barely even considered the notion of going; but then almost all at once the idea flourished in my mind (Walter Mitty Moment) and I invited myself to go on her trip.
Well, to be honest, even though the idea was spontaneous, my actual decision was drawn-out and tentative. For one, there were things here in Costa Rica that I wasn’t sure I wanted to leave behind; but even then, think about it. None of us who are going have ever traveled down that way before. We do know where we’re headed — kind of; however, we don’t necessarily know exactly what we’ll be doing. We’ll be figuring things out as we go along. I presume that almost each day we’ll get up and see what sort of nudging the Holy Spirit will put on our hearts, or what our enthusiastic sense of adventure will lead us into. We’ll be taking cars, buses, boats, and who knows, maybe a llama or something. Sometimes we’ll sleep in motels, sometimes in churches, sometimes in tents. Everything we own will be in our backpacks. We’ll roam and traverse. Every day we’ll look to see where we can make the most significant impact on the world around us. Yes, it’s true. Most of us on the trip are technically poor by common social standards; but that’s part of the whole adventure. I’m dead serious when I say we’ll literally be trusting in God the entire way….and, in all truth and honesty, that’s the only reason I’m not afraid.
So far, we have four people on our team: Chrystel, her sister Vanessa, Sam from Canada (who in all regards is not very much unlike Sam from The Lord of the Rings,) and me. For Chrystel, this is a pioneering trip. For me, it’s a chance to live out who I am in other parts of the world. For all of us, it’s a faith-walk adventure.
As far as we know, we’ll be trekking through Panama, then down into Colombia for a while; after that, we’ll head over into Ecuador, and Peru as well. Who knows, though, it’s very likely we’ll hop over into some other countries whilst we’re there.
I’ve put myself in charge of documenting the whole trip. Despite a substantial lack of professional training, I plan to video as much as I can, then make a short movie of our journey. Also, I think most of my blog will now consist of what goes on as we travel; therefore, I’ll try to keep it updated as much as possible along the way.
As of this moment, we leave tomorrow. This, for me, is a dream come true. I’m exuberant, a teeny bit nervous, and altogether content within myself. These are the sort of decisions that mark people’s lives forever. I know I already posted this quote once before, but I think it appropriately bears being shared again. I genuinely hope it inspires you.
“It had long since come to my notice that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” –Leonardo da Vinci