The Great, Maligned American Road Trip
Additionally, my time on the road gave me a chance to see how much my passion mattered. I spent so much of my 20s avoiding passion because I saw passion and responsibility as a contradiction to one another. Passions led me away from responsibilities, and therefore led me away from God.
What I found as I traveled is that the opposite is actually true. A life without passion is a life without relationship to God. A relationship involves two people who want things, need things, feel things and think things. If I never allowed myself to want anything, I was opting out of a relationship with God.
In order to get up and go on my trip, I had to pay attention to my passion for the first time in my life. It was scary, because I was worried my passion would lead me in the wrong direction, but I continued wake up every day, explain what I wanted, what mattered to me, how I felt, and ask God to tell me how he felt about the desires he'd built into my heart. As we talked, I stopped living out of obligation, and started living out of passion instead. That's when our relationship grew.
Truly, this is when I became an "adult," a person who felt and acted responsible for my own desires, ideas and even outcomes.
Finally, my road trip uncovered the selfishness, bitterness, and entitlement in me all along. In the years before, I thought if I didn't act entitled, I wasn't entitled. If I didn't act selfish, I wasn't selfish. I volunteered at my church, never swore or cussed or complained or cried over anything for too long. I had it pretty good, after all. I had a great life. When I felt myself getting bitter or entitled, I had my coping mechanisms, each of them very godly and admirable and good. I took time to myself, read my Bible, called a friend, went for a run.
But a thousand miles from home, without the usual comforts of friends and family and activities to make me feel rooted and safe, the strong facade I had held together for so long fell apart. I failed. I cried (for way too long about way too many things). I cursed God. I complained. And it was beautiful, because he met me there and taught me and showed me how much he loved me anyway. He cured of the entitlement and selfishness I didn't even know I had.
There's something about taking a journey, whether actual or metaphorical, that changes us. Something about stepping out of the safety and comfort of "home," and into the cool rush of the unfamiliar makes us new. We feel awkward and adolescent, strange and out-of-place and terrified. But I wonder if this is a necessary, responsible part of life.
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