The Big Road Trip is on its way! I’m on a bus with 45 teens in a group of 120+ going down to San Diego for the Steubenville Youth Conference. The conference is 3 days of worship and community centered on Catholic youth and young adults. I’m so excited and I’m so blessed to be a part of this. During the 15-hour drive, I’m taking time to meditate on this trip and my connection with God.
I’m also thinking about how I experience this trip. Forefront in my mind has been what it costs me. Because I’m going as a chaperone, I don’t have to pay much $ for the trip, I’m lucky. But, since I am going on a long trip this summer, I’ve had to take time off of work, which means less income, which means I can’t afford a trip homethis summer. This will be my first summer ever not seeing my family and I have to say, that breaks my heart more than anything. It’s already hard not having my family nearby for most of the year, but I’ve usually gotten the chance to see them at least twice a year on extended trips (once in summer and a trip home for Christmas). While I’m on this trip, I know I’ll be thinking about them a lot and I’ll be missing them so much. As sad as this makes me, something intuitive tells me it’s a good feeling to have: to give up something you want or need, especially something that doesn’t seem selfish, and feeling its loss.
Longing and desire are powerful emotions, often leading people to good things, sometimes driving us to harmful places. What we can gain from longing is important: a sense of orientation and purpose, as well as a basis for relation with others.
With my longing, I have an orientation for my decisions and actions. I want to achieve what I desire, and I’ll pursue it with fervor. I think that wanting to see my family will help me cherish them more. Just like anyone, sometimes I get irritated or even angry with the people I love. Remembering how much I have missed them since I moved out of state can help me live more through God’s love with them, and honor them instead of squandering the time I do get with them.
With my longing, I can understand the longing of others. I can see better what drives others, even when I might not understand what they do.
Just some things I’m thinking about.
I’m also working on crocheting a prayer shawl during the loooooong ride. I’ll have some pictures and pattern ideas up on Ravely when I can get some lights on. Hint: I’m not very good at following patters 😛