Small World

I have been recently looking into planning a trip to Italy and perhaps some of its neighboring countries.  With the train systems and the cheap inter-continental flights, Europe can seem like a “small” place, that is easily manuervable.  But when I really started to examine it, I realized again how massive it is.  How, you cant easily get to Germany via a train thru Switzerland, because of something called the alps

Picture by John Minton

Picture by John Minton

I was chatting with my friend John and looking at some of his pictures from his trips to Europe.  John loves the outdoors and sci-fi/fantasy.  So he showed pictures of valleys, and waterfalls, and talked of Tolkien.  When he was showing me pictuers of the valley and glaciers near Grindelwald, Gimmelwald and Muerren, I realized, again, that the world is full of beauty.  There are popular places in the world to travel to, often because of its beauty.  But there are also little towns, little cities, little nooks and crannies that we often don’t think about, that are undisputed beauties.  How did God create such a magnificent world.  And to also imagine the beauty that we don’t often get to see–underwater–the world amazes me daily. 

People travel to parts of the world to see its history, to see its architecture, to see its art–to see the genius of God, the genius of artists, and the inexplicaable feats of building massive strcutres with non-modern equipment.  I am often blown away by the overall size of churches, and castles and other buildings across europe, that were built in the 1600’s, without the use of modern equipment such as cranes.  Furthermore, this makes me contemplate, what sort of feats of architecture do we erect today?  Are we building anything for the pure beauty of it?  What will our generation be remembered for?  Also, sure there are parts of the east coast that holds “history”, but what will “remain” for future tourists on the west coast?  What do we have in america where people travel to “see”, and not just be?  What “genius” are we presenting and will be remembered for?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

I also find it contemplative, if there is a reason it is a “small” world.  I think everyone at one point or another, has been travelling in a remote part of the earth, and have ran into someone they knew.  John was describing walking thru that valley, and having one of the best days of his life, and running into the Lees , a couple who he knew.  When I was in Europe in 1997 with other students from my college, this happened to me twice during my 6 week jaunt.  The first occassion, I was travelling in Florence, walking down the street, and I recognized the sister of a friend of mine.  And then an even more random experience, was Andrew and I had just come out of Westminster Abbey in England, and im staring at the ground, looking at the cobblestones as we walk up the road.  When then im just staring at someones shoes, and there is silence.  I did one of those movie slow pans up, and then surprisingly exclaimed, “Sean Foster!”   We had ran into one of our classmates that was not on the trip with us.

I am sure we all have stories like this.  It always seems to happen, and the line always used is “its a small world.”  Is there a divine reason for this?  Perhaps, its a way of God reminding us that we are never alone, and never outside our community?  Is there some profound reason that this happens so often?  Perhaps it is just that we are more concious and aware when travelling, that we notice these little things more clearly?

Which reminds me (yes, this snide really fits the category of “rambling”) of the freedom of travelling.  I had an experience in Europe in 97 that I will never forget, and never be able to duplicate.  It was such a free time — not in the money sense, but in the freedom to think, freedom to live.  Every day was set in the moment, and my mind and eyes were seeing awe and thought inspiring places.  I felt so alive.  I was in community and was free to challenge myself and others.  It makes me wish I was young again with the freedom from responsibility, where I could just travel around the world, seeing and doing remarkable things, being inspired to interconciousness–yes, I just made up that word, but I think you know exactly what I mean.

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3 Responses to “Small World”

  1. Lisa says:

    Since I’ve know you, you have loved to travel Andy. I think that’s really neat. I liked your ideas for the London trip… for each of us to research two aspects which fascinated us, to write reports and then hand them out to the others. In your typical fashion you made those really organized binders containing all of the reports. It made that trip much more interesting to me because we had learned a bit ahead of time.

  2. debbie says:

    how did you get the quote on your home page to change….whya blow fish…yes you hve done a lot of travel, but i thought at one time in your life it would be your passion and career…what stole your wanderlust? watch out or i’ll get deep to match.
    you are thinking of chase because… i am still exploring YOU, on your site but i must get to my assignment:)

  3. Andy says:

    if you hit F5 the quote will change. That blowfish we found on the beach in hawaii, dead. Lisa took that picture. Im just faking it. I work to live, not live to work. I was never taught how to find a career, I just forge a path. Every week I will be thinking of someone and praying for someone. Random programming, or divine intervention will help me choose who to have on my mind.

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This Week I'm Thinking About: Jonathan Wilt