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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, May 3, 2010

On the road...again?

The young man came up right to me and extended his hand. Hi, he said, I am a friend of hers...he indicated the woman I was talking to at the party. Now, I could tell by the woman's reaction that although they do indeed know each other, in her world, he was not exactly a "friend." I think "noxious toxin" would have elicited the same response for her...

Not wanting to be impolite, as the woman looked down to study her shoes, I asked why he was so chipper? I am driving to Georgia tomorrow! Really, I said, where are you going there? I don't know, he said, do you have any suggestions? (It just so happens that I do have suggestions, but gentle reader, you can see where my confusion rests--and it is not with me!)

You mean you have no destination? Right. Just traveling to travel? Yep. Too cold up here. (You can't blame anyone for that up here, as it is cold most of the time.) So, you're just going to drive to Georgia? Are you coming back? I hope not, he said!

I asked the obvious question: why Georgia? Do you have family or friends there? Nope, he sipped his beer, it's the only state that begins with a "G." (This is true, I thought to myself, it would have been a lot harder to choose "A" or "M.") At this the lady I was with raised her head...do you need any help packing, she asked?

He looked at her, studied her for a bit, tilting his head towards me, as if he was going to let me in on a secret...No, he said, I am just looking for a change, something new. I want to travel light. Now I leaned into him...

Look, I told him, the road will have lots of new things, lots of stuff to keep you busy, and in Georgia you'll get your warmer weather...but the road you're going to travel needs someone who packs light...someone who can be open to the road, someone who can travel a blue highway without prejudice or fear...and from where I'm standing...your bags are hanging way too low...

His eyebrows scrunched together as he looked at me...and then his face opened into the realization of his plan...Safe travels, I said, and he thanked me, and walked away. If there's one thing I've learned on the road over the years...the heaviest bags we travel with are not the ones with zippers and buckles...the heaviest bag we travel with beats in our chests...and no road can bear some of those burdens...even in Georgia.

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