Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Look Back on The Drift: "Forgetting the Little Things, or 'And Here We Go'"

If you've been a reader of The Drift for any length of time, you know one thing I harp on every chance I get is community. It's something I've focused my attention on learning while I'm here in Taiwan, and it comes out in my blogging a lot. Besides my off-line, foreign (to me) community I've built here in Taiwan, I've also had the pleasure to be a part of some great online groups. There's an incredible bunch over on 20-Something Bloggers. If you're 20-something, and you blog, check them out.

From time-to-time, they organize a "Blog Carnival". I've vowed only to participate if it keeps with the themes of
The Drift , but Introspection through "Looking back" is certainly a recurring message here.

That said:
This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and readers! And who could pass by the chance to win free ice cream?!?

About the Entry:
Originally Posted 9.11.08. This blog entry first made it to the pages of my journal as I flew across the Pacific from Orange County, California to my new home in Taiwan. It was birthed out of the fear and anticipation of my new adventure, and it set the themes of Journey, and the search for Community.

I've wanted to re-share this post for awhile, and figured the Blog Carnival was a great excuse! I hope you enjoy a bit of Drifter past :).

The Journey is the Destination.


The first day of my journey. My bags were packed, I'd made my lists (checked it twice). And I had everything I needed. Everything, but one little thing. A pen. It crossed my mind in the car, but I didn't think of it again until I was in line for the security checkpoint. That's a great way to start this voyage overseas.

Actually, it's an awful way.

Forgetting the Little Things.

Learning to tend to the "little things" in life is one discipline I hope to nourish while I'm on this trek. When you tend to those "little things" in life, the Big Problems don't seem so big. Or at least they might be more manageable.

So, "How did I get all this on paper," you ask? Well, obviously, in the security line, its too late to turn around and frisk your family for any such utensils. I was forced to wait it out and hope to find something in the terminal.

In the line, I witnessed someone be turned back and told to wait, and someone else, escorted to the screening room. As I put my belongings into those Tupperware containers, I checked in the recesses of my mind to ensure I didn't forget that pocketknife in the inner zipper.

Luckily, it was smooth sailing through the checkpoint, so I slipped on my shoes and headed for the first - and only - convenience store in sight. (and convenient it was.)

When I asked the expressionless cashier for the pens, she lifted a finger to a bucket on the other side of the counter. After rummaging for a bit, and realizing there were no more than three varieties, I selected a green pen with gel around the finger grip and a button that lights up said gel in 4 flashing varieties. The Carabiner Clip on the end, I thought, will help remind me to remember the little things.

And the "Beverly Hills" screen print, and $9 price tag will help me remember forgetting isn't cheap! Ouch!

In all my preparations so far, I've kept my emotions very even-keeled. Honestly, this has prevented me from feeling much at all. I'm certainly not considering it a virtue - more survival than anything.

But now I find myself 1000 miles from the California Coastline I know and love. Nothing but blue stretched above and below me as I chase the sunset to my new Horizon.

It's really starting to hit me, I think. I'm now half-way through this flight (I'm guessing; two movies, and the top score in Bejeweled... sounds about half way). And I'm realizing, as I look around and see no westerners, that being surrounded by Asians and a language I don't understand is a semi-permanent condition. It's not something I can easily walk away from...

There's a man in the Scriptures who is only mentioned once. He is known, by most, only for his prayer. Among other things, he asks that the Lord "expand his horizons." Though I don't agree with the financial-success-focused spin much of the American Church has linked with this passage (or the way the prayer was marketed as a self-help success formula to the profit of those with publishing rights), a piece of its message still resonates with me.

I pray that the Lord expands my horizons this year in my capacity to Love. I want to see him enlarge my ability to see outside myself. To see and love others as they are. To be able to walk in their shoes.

And I know he'll do this. I say that because I know Love is always his vision. The Ancient Israelites hold a name for God that speaks volumes of his faithfulness. "Jehovah Jireh" - meaning, "the Lord will Provide." Throughout my years on this journey-called-life this has been a name I've cleft. To me, it means God cares about the little things. And it teaches me that so should I.

As I finish this entry, the sun has almost won the race below the Horizon. The blue sky is broken by an orange glow, and the glistening pacific is masked by a sea of light, scattered clouds. The cabin is dark now, and my new friend and seatmate Michael is catching up on some sleep before he arrives home in Taipei.

I would not be able to finish my writing tonight if it were not for the soft green glow of my $9 pen. God has many lessons for me this year, and I am excited, anxious, scared, and determined to meet each in the fullest.

This is my journey, and I am honored that you're the least bit interested in joining me. I thank you, maybe in advance, for reading. My humblest hope is that it in some way may encourage you in your journey.

Here's to feeling life is more than a Destination.

Here's to finding the most out of the Little.

Here's to knowing this journey is meant to be spent with Fellow Journeyers.

And Here We Go..

[Photo: Taken while writing this Journal: 09.03.08 // Flight from LAX to Taipei // California Coastline]


floreta said...

cheers to that!

thanks for taking me along your journey, friend :) i appreciate your willingness to share.


the girl in stiletto said...

i love you. because you played bejeweled. hehe. are you still playing? goodness it was among one of the 'simple' games that i used to play during exams time back in college. ya know, when other students were staring so hard at the textbooks that i swear i could see their eyes almost popped out, there i was sitting in the common room, staring at my computer screen, looking so engrossed and focused - playing bejeweled. wahahha.

p.s i see flo is getting used to her new kickass nickname. *high five flo!*

Andhari said...

Reading this now I know the beginning of them all :)

Awesome post, Chase. It's enjoyable seeing the journey totally broadens your horizons

Sebastian said...

Lovely! But I didn't have you down as the Goddy type; how 'bout that.

I think the best thing about the Israelites, the Jews, is that they were as close to 'pure' as Christianity ever got, before the whole 'organised' aspect kicked in.

Back then (though people don't like talking about it), Jahova was simply 'The God of the Israelites'. He only became the singular God a bit later on. Yay for polytheism...!

Have you enjoyed your journey? :)

Chase said...

@"flo", I'm glad to have you join me! Picking up "Fellow Drifters" and new friends has been the best part of this blog for me.

@stiletto, YES! Fellow Bejewled players. I played for hours on that flight.. so long my eyes burned. (I heard you gave "flo" her nickname. nice!)

@Andhari, yep! :) This is the post that started it all. I think I had a good sense back then as to where I wanted to go.

haha, @Seb, Surprise! Yea, this is my most blatant "Goddy" post, I do believe. My "Goddy-ness" (and possibly gaudiness?) has shown up elsewhere, but I think you have to know where to look for it. Change in writing styles, maybe?
And, oh the joys of "organizing" "God" ... that's another post for sure. With you there.
And as for my journey, yes, I've quite enjoyed it, thankyou.

Don said...

Chase, Nice post. It was fun to rewind back to the beginning. I came in part way through your movie. I like the name Jehovah Jireh as well. There's a dozen or so names like that, another is Jehovah Shalom -- the Lord gives peace. That's another good one for the journey: kind of like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's cover: Don't Panic.

You are ever the word smith, turning a lovely phrase or a clever joke. I liked, " Nothing but blue stretched above and below me as I chase the sunset to my new Horizon." Wherever you go, there you are -- living large, living love, becoming... always becoming.