One Day, I’d like to pack up some essentials in a backpack, put some money in my wallet, slip on a pair of sneakers, and walk south.
(before I go any further, I think it is important to note that this desire does not stem from any disappointment that I am feeling at the current moment)
It’s a ridiculously romantic idea – to leave everything you know behind and to walk out into that big, unfamiliar, dangerous world that’s out there. Stopping when you need to rest, eating when you need to eat, working odd jobs to get money when you run out of it, and living each day without having to worry for the next. But that’s what it is – ridiculous and romantic.
(I find myself using that word more often than I’d like these days – “romantic” – but is there any other word that means “an idealistic notion”?)
Of course, it’s been done before – that’s how people got around in the days before cars and planes, right? And this was before they invented backpacks and sneakers! And highways!
But here’s my main concern whenever the idea crops up: the streets aren’t safe these days. And who knows what could happen out there? Sure, there are no highwaymen waiting to ambush unsuspecting travelers, but with the recent popularity of automobiles, robbers looking to prey on defenseless people don’t even have to lie in waiting – they can easily pull a hit-and-run, and the whole thing will be over before you can even finish singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
(not that you would, but that’s how fast it would be if you did)
Sure, I don’t actually have to walk – driving across the country (or even countries) presents itself as a much smarter idea, but then I get this sudden, paranoid fear that my car will choose to break down and completely stop working at the worst possible moment, and then I’ll be forced to commit the rest of my journey on foot – putting myself in danger of those high-speed highwaymen all over again.
Then again, I realize that all of these problems could be overcome by simply carrying a mobile phone with me when I head out. And I’m left wondering what is it that’s stopping me from doing all of that – from making that “one day” today.
There’s always something. I’m studying, I have to go for classes. I’m working, I have to finish writing for this show. I have to make revisions to these projects. I have ministries that I have committed myself to at church. I have things to do at home. The list goes on and on.
It seems that the main obstacle standing between me and exploring that outside world has nothing to do with what is actually out there – but everything to do with what is right here, where I am.
One day, I will pack up some essentials in a backpack, put some money in my wallet, slip on a pair of sneakers, and walk south. But today isn’t that day.
And tomorrow won’t be, either.