You ever go on trips to kind of get away from the normal crazy of your life? Then when on vacation, you’re just as busy as when you’re not on vacation?
About a year and a half ago I got to go on a trip through Italy, with Assisi as the main place I wanted to go. There are many reasons why and simply I just wanted to trace some roots to Saint Francis of Assisi, which is the main draw for most people to this place. I wanted to try and experience the place on foot as much as possible, by staying in a hotel within the city walls. One place that I did want to see, it was quite a distance, so I opted for the bus. On the way back however, seeing large fields below the city, it just beckoned to go for a long walk. Funny thing is, the walk was one place I got to just listen.
I had had a dream about coming to Assisi, or at least having the chance to. So, I came to see what there would be. Between the dream and coming, I lost my job, became low on funds, moved back in with my parents, and essentially faced a lot of change. In one sense everything was ok, but on the inside I was somewhat panicked. In my exploring of Italy, I was wondering what my purpose was, is, and would be. Would I meet someone along the way that would be a catalyst for something new? I did get to meet some people along the way. I did get to try new food, see new and beautiful places, but something was still nagging me.
As I walked I began praying/complaining to God again, asking why am I here. I had the dream and ventured out this far. Instead of just walking, I stopped to just look around. In some sense I was in the middle of nowhere. It was just me, standing in empty farm fields, hearing the sound of wind and cars from far away. That’s how life feels. I kept walking and stopping every so often to continue just to look. I came across a solo sunflower, all withered up.
As I began to photograph the flower, it resonated with me that I feel much the same. I could hear for a moment. I heard it’s just seasons, they come and go. The flower withering was once a bud waiting to blossom, only to release its seeds. The withered flower you see has lived its purpose. It will create more flowers in their season.
If God created them that way, I wondered what is my purpose? Sometimes I feel so blind to the obvious. I wonder if the flower knows what it’s doing. Regardless, God’s creative purpose is accomplished.
Adding on, I can wonder if our purpose is each other. In one way or another, whatever we do effects others, positively or negatively, does it not? What can we do that's loving for others? An engineer knows how to build bridges. By doing so, this enables people to pass over places safely. An artist expresses something, a politician (sometimes) works for others, a chef, a mother, a friend...everything is associated with otherness.