I have been planning a trip home to Seattle for the past 6 months. Originally, I was going to travel with 6-10 friends and show them all of the glory and splendor that is Seattle. (My friends often tease me for getting kick backs from Seattle tourism agencies for how much I advocate for Seattle vacations.) Unfortunately, all but two of my friends have had to drop off the trip due to cost, work, etc. (Don’t worry, I pray daily for all those lost souls who have not yet experienced the beauty of a Seattle summer).
I am still incredibly excited about this trip for multiple reasons: 1) I miss my family!!! 2) I am in desperate need of some time away from work and away from the fast paced life. I have only had 3 days to myself in the past 6 months and need time to think, ponder and philosophize. 3) My soul needs trees, water and mountains. Seattle has all three without even leaving my back yard.
Now that I have dropped my hosting responsibilities I have three new goals for my trip: 1) To spend extended time with my father and deepen our relationship so we can talk about the deep things of life: God, love, morality (I think I will still stay away from politics). 2) Find a direction and understanding of my future: law, politics, business, ministry, non-profits? 3) Slow my mind and heart in order to listen to God about my own heart, character and weaknesses (The need for this became abundantly clear when I tried to ‘out-run’ my thoughts about 3 days ago. 35 minutes and 5 miles later, my mind was still racing, but I had beat my old PR by over 5 minutes.
My trip to the airport was rushed and chaotic with little physical, emotional or spiritual prep, which was evidenced by the missing belt to my suit for the wedding I had the next day. Once on the plane, however, I was finally forced to be still- to read, watch movies, and to just sit and think. I still have no answers to my questions.
My dad was waiting in the baggage claim by the time I got there. My first prayer was immediately answered on the drive home. My father decided to open up and talk about God, his faith, how I misunderstand him at times, struggles at work and life in general. Although completely shocked about the depth and vulnerability of the conversation, I cherished every moment. It is difficult to think of anything more valuable to a young man than his relationship with his father and I consider myself very blessed.
My mom, on the other hand, does not have any trouble opening up to deep conversations. In fact she thrives on them. Within moments of saying hello, she had already started what would be an hour conversation about love, work, my future, my dreams and my struggles. Just as a point of clarification: this is what she considers a warm up conversation. She is able to get all the summary details up front so that we can dwell on each topic in depth in the week to come. Consider the analogy of a one-hour intro paragraph to an essay and you will understand. Once again, I cherish every moment of these conversations.
Ahhh… It is so good to be home.