[Wanderlust: a strong or innate desire to rove or travel about]
Recently, the term wanderlust made its way into a conversation with a friend.
We had passed a boutique bearing the name, and it made me wonder what they could possibly be selling. Being of German descent, my friend knew the term intimately. She explained to me how Germans spent enormous amounts of time walking places…like everywhere. That they felt compelled to do so. This need had, over the years, transformed into an inclination to travel, and they did it with an intensity not known to most.
I asked her if weariness was ever a factor in derailing them from their pursuit. She said that when they were tired, they rested. And when they were done resting, they moved forward.
Rest when you are tired…and when you aren’t? Time to move forward.
I think that most of us can learn a lesson from these traveling Germans. We tend to fall into one of two categories: over achiever and underachiever.
The overachievers run and run and run until they are totally spent. They don’t have a filter and don’t know how to say no. Martha of the Mary/Martha sisters, had tendencies like that. She worked her fingers to the bones, providing for her family and workers. She went the extra mile for Jesus and His disciples whenever they were in town, and often went over and above everyone’s expectations. The Word says that she
“made him feel quite at home.” Luke 10: 38 msg
But Jesus let her know in no uncertain terms that all that fuss was not necessary, that a much simpler approach was needed.
Martha did not know how to rest
Sound familiar to anyone? It does to me. I have become a weary traveler.
One thing us overachievers do not understand - rest does not make you look weak. Even Jesus rested. Often throughout His ministry travels He said no. He would withdraw from the crowds to regroup and refuel; sometimes with His companions, but more often alone.
He needed to connect to the source of power in His life to gather the needed strength to move on. There is nothing wrong with admitting when you are tired and need rest. But….
Then on the other hand, there are the underachievers.
The underachievers are letting their God given gifts sit on the back burner until an opportune time comes along. This is not always a bad thing. If God’s timing isn’t quite there, the period of rest that you are experiencing could be a stage of growth; a time to become who you were created to be. But even in these seemingly inactive times, there is movement happening, usually within our hearts. But watch for it, and do the work required to develop those skills you are called to use. You may not be ready to write that epoch book that has been floating around in your mind, but maybe you need to work on your skills or research.
Jesus spent many years learning and growing into who He was called to be….and it was no mean feat! I do believe that He came with a certain knowledge of who He was and what He was sent to do (as many of us too are aware of the calling on our lives), but He did not just sit back and say bring it on! I’ll just sit here and wait. No – He searched out the people whom He would learn the things he needed to, to accomplish His purpose. Granted, by twelve he knew more than the teachers of the law…but up to that point, He studied and learned, most likely from the Pharisees and Sadducees, those he would one day oppose.
We have much to learn
Could God simply insert knowledge here? Absolutely He could – He’s God. But then how would we grow and mature. Life experience can go far in its ability to instruct us in the finer points of life, in the intricacies of relationships. It helps to cultivate strength for those times when strength is needed.
Yes, we do need to rely on God’s strength to guide us through, but that does not absolve us of the responsibility to work towards a goal, to improve our skills and abilities to greater effect for His kingdom.
Proverbs 12:27 says this:
“The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.”
We are to be diligent in our pursuit of God and the talents that He has given us. But watch out for those times designated for rest and learning. These are integral in fighting off the effects of wanderlust, and not becoming the weary traveler.
Has God called you to something?
And you will feed on the riches of the hunt!