Wandering Through Advent

Although we rarely slow down to consider it, most of the time we live as voyagers moving about solely for the sake of discovering the next temporary provision. Our lives will certainly look a lot like that over the next few weeks as the Christmas shopping frenzy commences. We will scurry about, our fingers freshly stained with Black Friday advertisements, participating in the mad rush for that perfect gift.

I was on my own Yuletide expedition when I happened upon a nativity scene at the local “Stuff Mart” the other day and noticed the bearded travelers sitting before a baby with gifts in hand. The figurines left me meditating about these nomads of the Bible. They’ve been called astronomers, priests, and even kings. Some two thousand years ago the pilgrimage of these three wise men was well underway at this point in the calendar year.

Finding joy

I picked up one of the sojourners and began to laugh. The figure reminded me of a picture I look to now and then when I think of nomads. It is a photo of a couple of 20th-century dudes with unusually biblical-looking beards who may pass for “wise men” on occasion (especially when they are sitting in close proximity to me). These two set off in the late 90s on their own nomadic journey, traversing American highways in an old Volkswagen van. They traveled about, working odd jobs, camping in exotic places, and collecting amazing stories as they went. My friends (one now an organic farmer and the other a college professor) hoped that their travels might be a life-changing, fulfilling experience. After all, their lives were now literally “a journey.”

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