ENTERING a new year is like taking a holiday to some place foreign and uncharted. You never know what to expect.
It’s like turning up in a distant city without pre-arranged accommodation. It sharpens the senses.
There’s a joy in jumping into the unknown, where we can delve into the more essential parts of ourselves.
As Oliver Cromwell once said: “A man never goes so far as when he does not know where he is going.”
A travel writer friend said the great joy of travelling to unknown parts was leaving all his beliefs and certainties behind.
He said the clear difference between a tourist and a traveller was that the latter left assumptions at home, and the former did not.
Life is always a trip and it helps if you travel light and with a little trust in your heart.
There are fewer distractions; more time to consider the bigger picture.
Facing the new year, pursuing true love or searching for spirituality have something of the feel of journeying to foreign lands where the language is at first unknown and the terrain unfamiliar.
Our fears are often baseless. After all, more people are said to be killed annually by donkeys than by planes falling out of the sky.
And more people are killed each year by falling coconuts than sharks.
Whether religious or not, we travel a spiritual path. Every day we make choices that affect the direction in which we are headed.
In His sermon on the mount, Jesus spoke of the two ways open to all of us, each with its own beginning, and each with its own end. He said one way was heavily populated; the other travelled by few.
He sent his disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and told them: “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.”
The message was clear. Don’t load up the donkey with tons of stuff, tons of preconceptions and angst. Just let go and let God do His job. Travel light.