Alain de Botton’s book, outlining the secular way to travel, is fascinating, partly because he tries to free us from long-term intentionality in some ways (we’re born to die, so get on with it), yet suggests we should take great interest in learning and intentionally progressing ourselves in other ways.
This video, seemed to say letting go and seeking pleasure, was the only intentional thing worth doing. As comedian David Mitchell outlines, living in the moment is not as easy as it would sound or seem:
It can be easy to think that being intentional about everything in life would be exhausting. But if you love something, there’s only a certain amount that it feels like effort. Most things flow from what our heart’s love (our worldview), and the rest takes hard work to cultivate a love in our hearts. And so even living in the moment will be hard, if you do not love it.
So people ask me, is always having a secondary (or primary) purpose in your travelling not exhausting and robbing you of the very fact you’re enjoying travelling? And quite honestly for the most part, the answer is “no”. If it’s my love (loving God, loving others), then it will come increasingly naturally to me as I journey on in my Christian faith.
And for the moments that it doesn’t? Well as David says, it’s “chores now for jam tomorrow”! And don’t think for a moment that hedonistic, secular travel is any less chore-some or rewarding! The glossy travel brochure paints you a false reality. The 3min youtube video doesn’t show you the hours of bookings, cancellations, mishaps, tensions in relationships, sickness, rainy days and mishaps, not to mention the hours perfecting video footage to make it all seem amazing.
Intentionality can be exhausting, but being intentional for Jesus, is being intentional for a master whose “yoke is light and burden is easy” and who desires us to enjoy the “rest” of a home-coming. Imagine the feeling of safety; comfort; the buzz as your wifi connects to your home network and messages from friends and family come in; the smell of coffee; and the warm embrace of a housemate. It’s what coming home is.
But this coming home, can be a finding of yourself, and who you were created to be. And it can be done on the road, far away from physical home, while you’re living for the moment! Or it can be done in regular hum-drum rhythms of normal working life, getting up in the same bed as you always do, going downstairs to the same situation that always greets you. It’s a coming home to your maker, and a realising that it is only living with Him, that will make life fully free-ing.