Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sam I Am

Life’s a journey, not a destination. That’s what Aerosmith says. I agree. There is something very special about a traveler. Now, everyone makes a journey in life whether it’s on one island or to one hundred peaks and valleys. A traveler makes a decision that there are some things not found in books, and there are some sights not seen in photographs. A world traveler is part of a special breed of human that looks at the globe as an opportunity, and they just hope life grants them enough time (and good luck) to explore as many places as possible. He may truly love his home and its comforts, but he feels a special kind of alive in undiscovered territory not knowing what he will see or whom he will meet next.

We all learn in school, growing up, about travelers. Some sailed, some flew, some rode on horseback… some blasted into outer space. One day in grade school, many children my age and I witnessed a horrific disaster replay throughout the day when the Shuttle Challenger exploded while making its ascent from Earth. What went through many minds that day was the question of why it was even necessary to take these risks and make such a journey – seven astronauts died that day. That evening, our President Reagan came on television to help mourn our nation’s loss, and to the nation’s schoolchildren he explained, “It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave.” Now, a trip to drink wine in northern Italy hardly matches the famous explorations of honored travelers-past. However, we all know that there is always value and always risk in our journeys. Every time we venture out into the unknown, we pay homage not only to those who went before us, but also to God who gave us so much to discover. Every time we go out into the world we become more a part of it… and a part of history. With that distinction, we also take on a responsibility for that world. True world travelers are ambassadors of humanity.

My uncle Sam is a world traveler. I cannot tell you how many sunsets he has seen or how many friends he has made, but I can tell you with great probability that he is behind every stamp on my passports – now, and for as long as I may roam. We all make our own journeys and all have our own reasons. Perhaps it’s escape; perhaps it’s discovery; perhaps it’s a beautiful woman; perhaps it’s a great friend… perhaps it is conquest. I cannot recall Sam ever sharing his reasons, but he is a good man – a fun man – and it seems to me it is one of many ways he simply enjoys life. He is a world traveler, and by all accounts he has made a good journey. So, we continue. We expand our horizons. We live until our Destination finds us. May it continue to be a beautiful ride…

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