Traveling, even on business, can be an intensely spiritual experience.
There is a certain amount of the unknown involved in a journey. Will my connections work out? What will my accommodations be like? Will I be able to find my way around in a strange city? What will the people be like there?
All those unknowns and more can help us get outside ourselves because so much of it is totally beyond our control.
Then there is the solitude of the time in the hotel room. We have a choice there. We can just endure the lonely hours watching the TV. Or we can take advantage of the solitude by investing in some introspection.
There is a proverb that says
Teach the wise, and they will be wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn more.
Since I would like to be a wise man some day, here are some of the things I have learned so far on this trip:
- Watching the news is depressing. It seems every airport waiting area has TV’s blaring and all of them are tuned to some news channel. All I heard about was Mid-East violence, Korea & Iran and nuclear weapons, Typhoons killing hundreds in China. Now I’m not a bury-my-head-in-the-sand-and-pretend it’s-all-going-to-be-OK kind of guy. I’m in touch with reality. But I definitely got a reminder why I don’t watch much television news coverage anymore. I can get all the news I need with a quick scan of the headlines online and see, â€œYep. The world’s still a mess.â€ I don’t need some photogenic announcer telling me over and over how bad things are.
- There are some great restaurant chains I haven’t experienced yet. The first night here I discovered a new one in Bob Evans. I walked in and I was immediately greeted with a sincerely friendly smile. The folks were very nice. The food was delicious and portioned for a really big appetite. And the whole thing was waaaaaay under-priced for what I got. I’ll definitely be going back there before the week is out.
- You can find nice people wherever you go. One chain that I am familiar with, being married to a Wisconsin girl, is Culver’s. I expected great food and custard. But the people there were a real treat. They were kind enough to point me to a grocery with some great produce that I never would have found on my own. If you’re ever up this way, make it a point to stop by Culver’s in Lansing.
It is good to shake up the usual routine now and then and be forced to experience new things. The trick is to keep your spiritual eyes open and learn what you can along the way.
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