Journey to God Starts with a Journey to Ourselves By Michael A. Bengwayan
Journey to God Starts with a Journey to Ourselves
As a boy in Baguio during its best years, I had the urge to be someplace else. As I grew, the wanderlust feeling still grew but poverty made me realize, it will be a dream. Older folks told me maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-two, I have concluded I have traveled enough—from the foot of Mount Everest, the daunting hills in India to New York City’s concrete jungles, Ireland’s fabled moors to China’s stone mountains. And in between, a lot more countries. Nothing has worked. My wanderlust led me always back home. Hoarse blasts of a ship’s whistle still raise the hair on my neck as in the cold lakes of Sweden, and set my feet to tapping, when I remember the village drums in Tanzania. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up as in the JFK airport , even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage.. In other words, I don’t improve; in further words, once a bum always a bum. A bum for traveling. Yet a bum of wanting always to travel home. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself.
Today, I feel I no longer have the virus of restlessness that began to take possession of a me as a young man, took the road away from Here. Today, the path seems broad and straight and sweet, I, the victim no longer find a good and sufficient reason for going o a different land. This bum feeling is no longer difficult. I have a garden of reasons why. I have a direction and a destination. I am on another journey.. How to go, what to take, how long to stay., I know. Now the way is invariable and immortal. I set it down only so that newcomers to bumdon, like teen-agers in new-hatched sin, will not think they invented it.
We are all in a journey. But in that journey, as we often rest, we wil be more enlightened.Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, whatever the purpose is, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.
We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip, a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. In our journey, it may end in a day or a lifetime. It may stop, then push on either easily or the hard way. O Henry’s account of the Fourth Magi teaches us this. The fourth wise king, in his journey to see the Kind of Kings born, ended seeing a man painfully crucified on a hill.
Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it.
I continue with this journey. A journey to myself, to my family, to. friends, to my community…to a spirit…a journey to service on final journey we all yearn for, a journey to God.