The Thing About Wanderlust

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Wanderlust is defined as “the strange uncontrollable desire to travel to new places.”

There’s recent popularity surrounding this word and idea.

I myself am a culprit and victim of this phenomenon.

Wanderlust is an interesting concept which is something I don’t think goes alongside healthy living or a biblical lifestyle.

I am referring to mission work specifically. In your personal vacation travels, wander and get lost all you like!

Sometimes, it does work out that while traveling you end up somewhere totally different than you intended and it works out for the better.

But if you head somewhere with no itinerary, I feel that it’s hard to be active in God’s plan for that trip if you’re too busy trying to figure out where you’re going to be sleeping or eating in the next few hours. Being led by the Holy Spirit is different than not allowing Him to help you plan in His will.

This can be a fun exercise in a few hours or a day of free time, but when in missionary work it is all too common to get caught up in the idea of spontaneity.

I believe it boils down to one main thing: mindset.

Being “go-with-the-flow” when things don’t turn out how you plan them can be a powerful asset. You’re allowing yourself the power to be content in God’s plan wherever you go. You will be more capable and willing to be used when your car breaks down and there’s a village that you can minister to nearby.

In America being punctual is a character trait. It helps us get jobs and shows off our productivity, but most countries don’t operate like that. Most Latin American countries are like this, a meeting at 3:30pm may mean meeting at 4:30, having an early dinner, catching up with some old friends, and then going where you originally intended. Being flexible with culture is a good thing.

But there’s also something powerful in having a mission and following through with it. Along with being a little inconsistent, wanderlust tends to also make people a little flaky.  Consistency, however, can be a valuable tool especially if you’re already used to it.

Wanderlust is fun to put on t-shirts and tapestries to hang up in dorm rooms and on car stickers, but it may not be the best way to go about thinking critically about missions and the future Christians of the world.

Hopefully, I can expand on this sometime.

But the idea of wanderlust is definitely something that I find fascinating.

Let me know what you think!

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