In eleven days, I will depart. I will travel to the land of legends. I will learn things that I can’t begin to grasp now. My horizons will be broadened. Perhaps I will even be inspired. In eleven days, I board a plane with nine classmates and two professors to study abroad in the United Kingdom. Most of our time will be spent at a university in London, but the journey includes a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
In these days before departure, I am traveling to Britain with books like Macbeth, Jane Eyre, the Speckled Band, and the Mabinogion. I am consuming them with rapid understanding. The tales I am told to read somehow have more meaning because I will soon be there where they were inspired, where they unfolded.
I hope that I can be as inspired as these authors were. Whether it is for a post on this blog or it is for my heart only, I hope to be able to write. My home holds much inspiration for me, but the coffee shops in Georgia have not steeped great debate, great inspiration, and great novels. For centuries longer than America existed, masterpieces have flowed from the places where I will travel. Maybe walking in their footsteps will inspire some of the same rich thought process.
I hope to sip some tea on a rainy afternoon and laugh with a new friend. I hope to learn something, many things, about the world, and I hope to grow in my faith as I ask questions that have been asked for eras. This may appear like my lists of items to purchase, things to gather, but it is different. I do not think I can very well cross off “Forever change my thought process for the better” in the same way I cross off “Bring camera.” It’s the difference between adding the camera to my bags and using the camera to take a picture that perfectly captures the million miniscule things that make the moment exactly what it is. I have travelled before. From these past pilgrimages I know that though I expect greatness, I never really understand and comprehend all that I hope for. Often times it has been more than I imagined. With this novel adventure looming, I hope to experience the “more.”
My expectations may be different than Charles Dickens’s character Pip, but they are still great. I do hope that mine turn out better than Pip’s and somehow think that they will. Partly because this is life and not fiction, and partly because I know the source of my expectations.
I echo a prayer from Psalm 62:5-8, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah”
I pour my heart before the Lord and He fills me with hopes. Yes, hopes that I can achieve in London—through the opportunity He orchestrated. But also hopes that can be fulfilled wherever I go, because He is indeed my refuge, my salvation, and my glory. This love transcends boarders, continents, experiences, and especially expectations.