The sun has yet to rise, but i've been awake for over three hours. i'm sitting amongst strangers in an airport whose carpet has a fan club (complete with its own line of souvenirs). My eyes are heavy, my clothes are half dirty, and i have five different bags of coffee in my backpack. i've been in Portland, OR for a week. i've spent seven days with four of the best people in the world, filling our time with laughter, food, and adventure.
i came to Portland two days later than planned, after a hard week and long hours of travel. This has been a trip in the making for months and there was a lot of me that was convinced that it wouldn't happen; my canceled flight last Thursday didn't help. By the time i landed in Portland last Saturday night, i was more exhausted and relieved than i was excited. i was anxious for adventure but eager for rest-- seven days later and i am happy to tell you that i received both.
After living in Guatemala last summer, i came back to the States unable to be satisfied with mundane existence. For a working college student, this is both a dream and a nightmare. i love traveling more than i used to. i love seeing new things and (though i am a picky eater) i love trying new foods. i love long car rides and airports and culture. i am only twenty years old and there is a lot of the world that i haven't seen yet, but that doesn't mean that i don't understand the importance of adventure.
This week, we took two day trips to my roommate/Portland-native's "must-see" spots for the four of us who had never been up here. We visited Mount Hood and Cannon Beach, both locations leaving me speechless and wanting more. As a girl who grew up on the Gulf Coast, seeing beaches with rocks and trees and powerful, crashing waves is something special. It was a treat for all of us to be able to wander down a trail and get (semi) lost in the woods and consider the unlikely-yet-possible chances of seeing a bear. We saw things that we had only dreamed of.
i was standing on the Indian Beach watching the waves crash over the rocks and the water fill the tide pools and my friends attempt to climb things without dying and amongst all of it, i got it. i understood why my heart longs to see more, why i feel more full when i'm seeing and traveling and experiencing-- because the same Creator that made those rocks and that mountain and Who filled the ocean and placed the stars is the same One who created me. We, me and you and the world, we are His created. As He thoughtfully placed each branch on the trees that surround Indian Beach, so He delicately placed every detail of who we are.
As we walked along the sand and watched the water and explored the shore, i felt like i was getting to see a different part of God. It is no secret that He is diverse and never ending, but i think that we forget that we can never stop learning about Him. Seeing the world, whether it be across the world or the country, it allows us to see more that our Creator has made-- it is a different piece of His heart. He delights in His creation and He wants us to delight is it as well! He wants us to see His heart, His artwork! This desire for adventure is about more than cool instagram pictures and stories, it's a God-given desire to know Him because He wants to show Himself to us so that we may fall deeper in love with Him.
We were not created to live as static characters in the story of the world. God did not give us Himself as a gift that fits in a box. We are meant to live in the midst of adventure, seeking His face within every part of the world that we see. His hand is in all that is, from the palm trees in Guatemala, the hills of Mississippi, and the coast of Oregon. He shows Himself to us in the simple beauty of the world, in the joy we feel when we see them, in the conversations in the car. He is in all that is good.
As His created, we are living within His creation and we are meant to bask in His glory that it is. So seek adventure, plan the trip you've always wanted to go on, go see the handiwork of the God who made you.
Now, i've been back from Portland for about twenty four hours. In the middle of writing this, my plane boarded and i didn't have the opportunity to open my computer again until now. i'm living in the post-trip slump, attempting to be satisfied with the humid air and weird smells of Central Mississippi. i came back exhausted but full, which i think is the best way to return from a trip. This week i felt so beautifully close to and loved by my Creator-- which i think is exactly how it should be.
Adventure is a gift, friends. Take it.