After thousands of miles and almost a thousand days in the Far East, our journey has come full circle. Before we left for Korea we couldn’t wait to get out of the Midwestern landscapes in which we were raised. Rows of cookie-cutter homes on streets that all looked the same provided little inspiration for a creative romantic such as myself. I thirsted for adventure and exotic destinations. Though the Midwest has a unique beauty, I had grown numb to it. Sometimes we have to leave a place before we can truly appreciate its beauty.
Now we’re back in the U.S. and trying to figure out what the next chapter of our lives together will hold. Reverse culture shock has us in its grip as we internally and externally fight the false gods of American ideology. Do I really want to engage with the broken political system of each candidate tearing down the other while making false promises and pretending to be different from the other? Do I really want to settle for a job that I hate just because it’s an income? Is it really so bad that we want our lives to count for something? Coming home to the suburbs to live with family while we job search creates in me a strong desire to escape to adventure. I’m thankful for the awareness that we are indeed still adjusting back to American life…but I don’t want to give up the desire for adventure. If I give it up, I’m afraid we’ll settle for a suburban life that lacks a meaningful story.
Driving out of the suburbs has provided some measure of beauty and solace in the wide and expansive plains of middle America. Stalks of corn gently wave in the warm breeze. The golden sun lights up thousands of miles of fertile land. Standing on a country road looking out on this vastness is similar to standing on the shores of a seemingly endless sea. A lone red barn stands anchored like a buoy in an ocean of green crops. Something about these landscapes makes me thankful to be home. The numbness with which I left home two and a half years ago has fallen off in these moments of quiet reflection, and I remember that I never stopped loving the plains. While exploring the world of mobile phone photography, I am reuniting with my homeland.
Where do they lead? How far do they reach? What stories are told along their lines? As I contemplate the power lines, I ask the same questions of us at this juncture in our journey. Where will God take us? Who will we reach with His love? Will our lives be worthy of a meaningful story? Oh God, let it be so. Let our lives honor the gift that is every moment.