I’m not certain when or how that mustard seed got planted or why Nepal of all places or even what I hope to gain by it entirely beyond the simple experience of travel. Nevertheless, I’m going. Come September 28th, I’ll be lacing up my most comfortable hiking boots, slinging a daypack over my back, and heading off into the foothills with a group of strangers.
I should add here, I am not a particularly courageous person. My persona belies that truth. Many people have remarked that I give the appearance of someone much larger than my shorter than average frame. I can exude enough confidence and warmth to inspire belief. In my heart of hearts, however, I am still childishly shy, fiercely guarded, and afraid.
In one fell swoop i’m going to buck all three. Along the way, I also have to get myself into shape, save up a boatload of money, and plan the details. These activities are likewise not in my wheelhouse. Despite the appearance of organization, I’m a flake. Financially I’ve always managed to have enough to pay the bills, but not with much fat to store by. The only part I have down is the fitness. For my age, I’m in reasonable shape, saving the proverbial 10 lbs everyone wants to shed. I have never spent much time in any altitude, however, nor will I have the chance prior to my trip, making that a great unknown.
To do anything new and big, you have to be comfortable with the unknown, don’t you?
For years, I counted myself an atheist. Rational, experiential, a bit arrogant about it. What I have come to realize was that my definition of God was far too limited – and maybe most of our definitions of God are too limited because as siple humans we have no choice. We’re limited in scope, whereas God by definition is not, and that is not a concept we can entirely understand.
So I’m going to Nepal to answer a whole lot of questions. Many of them will be answered along the way, some when I am there, some afterward. Some never. And that’s ok, because although my physical composition has an endpoint, the parts of it do not. Learning to live, to be at one with unknowing, with incompleteness, as well as with eventual finality, that’s what the journey teaches us.
Time to get started.