On Being A Wanderer

Not all those who wander are lost.

-J.R.R. Tolkein

I’m off to Milan today to see if I can get in to see the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, not to mention it will be good to get into a more modern city for a day.

There’s a certain charm to being a vagabond.  The excitement of not knowing what will happen next, a change of scenery whenever you like, and little care in the world for such menial things that someone who demands roots be put down would be fretting over every minute of every day if they were with me.  Having very little to care for except to see what lies beyond the next hill, wondering how it will change you forever is an incredible way to live.

What drives a person to such an existence?

Staying in one place too long, perhaps?  Being tired of the daily toil, the never ending weekly clock that slowly ticks to laying in one’s grave would certainly drive a man to escape the clock even for a little while.  Perchance it is the safety of a home waiting at the end of a journey?  The little hobbit hole with a warm fire and hearty meal that happily welcomes a wanderer back from his travels.  Maybe that dark and shamed desire to see what is over the next hill?  To not be satisfied with what you have seen, what you have at hand that you are meant to be content with that drives a man to wander.

For me, it was meeting many a man who had wandered, and had brought back the sun.  Yarns spun of the darkest nights and the brightest of days, of missed planes and unexpected adventures, of dangerous encounters and newfound friends.  Tales that enthralled the spirit within me begging for its own wandering.

And so I finally had the chance to wander on my own, and I seized it with both hands and will not let go of the dragon I so foolishly chose to ride until we have soared to the stars and bring back a sun of my own.


Attending A Local Church Service

Had the chance to attend Catholic Mass this morning being given at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.  Completely different experience from anything I have gone to before.  They kept switching languages from Italian to English to Spanish with the classic Latin thrown in for good measure.  Thankfully there was a handy booklet being handed out that allowed you to follow along.

The service was held outside in the plaza as opposed to inside the church.  They probably could have fit us all in there if they had chosen to, but we might have packed the place (there were a LOT of us out there.

It was also the first church service I attended with a security force to search bags and whatnot.  Thankfully I don’t know enough Italian yet to crack a joke with them, but I’m learning quickly and will be in jail in no time!

Now granted, I’d be classified as a Protestant Christian (considering I attend three churches all half an hour from my house in different directions — more on that later), but there is something that the Catholics have kept alive in their services and that is a reverence for the majesty of God.  No disrespect to my faith, but it can sometimes get too relaxed and forget the wonder and power of God to make Him more approachable to have Him as a personal savior.

The trick is getting both thoughts into your head at the same time.  You see, they’re both right.  That’s what’s called a duality.  Having two things that appear to be right and mutually exclusive (meaning that anything else is wrong).  How can a God that has authority over all of creation and cares for the stars and all life here on Earth possibly have the time to care about a single human’s life?  And on top of that, wants to be intimately involved in their life?  Yet it is true.

Anyway, the priest afterwards got carted around in a car afterwards to wave to all the people in the audience with 8 bodyguards surrounding him.  It was funny to see everyone in the back with me running to and fro trying to get a picture of the fellow.  Thankfully for those of us in the cheap seats, there were television screens showing the whole thing.  Here’s a picture of the man…

With the way people were acting you think we had just been preached to by the Pope or something.

(one internet search later)

… Oh.  Well now I’m not going to heaven am I? 🙂