My first job after graduating consisted of promotional work across the then-Transvaal province of South Africa. It was a huge area, and I was eager to prove myself -- in my first month I drove more than 10,000 kilometres! I quickly learned to plan my trips better, but my driving pattern was set for life: you drive to get to where you want to be, no dawdling along the way. If the speed limit is 120 kilometres per hour, I drive at 120 km/h; if it's 80, I go at 80; if it's 60, I go at 60, a philosophy that served me well for decades, but lately I've started questioning it. It makes perfect sense on the concrete highways of Gauteng (although it's largely impossible to go at the 120 km/h limit, even in the deep of night), but why tear through the pine forests of Mpumalanga just because it's legal?
It became a pattern for more than driving. Life became a dash between starting point and destination -- everything else was insignificant. But the more I read Scripture, the more I realise that the journey is as important to God (or more) as finishing. Speeding through a beautiful countryside may not be illegal, but it keeps me from appreciating the beauty around me; rushing through life may not be sinful, but I miss most of the memorable moments of life.
Maybe that's why I have such a hard time with God's timing in my life. If I'm three years ahead of where He is, it's no wonder that I can't discern his purposes, his ways, his quiet enjoyment of being there in the moment.
So, I'm trying to slow down and "smell the roses" -- but it's hard...
ABOUT "RAMBLINGS OF A STRANGER"
These are indeed ramblings.
They are not beautifully-crafted essays, they are simply thoughts and ideas. They don't follow any pattern, except the sequence in which they were written. They do not pretend to be great literature, profound insights or deep teachings. They are simply observations, textual doodles, of daily life. If anything, they try to find something more in our mundane slogging through this broken paradise.
And they were written by a stranger, who is discovering more and more that this place is not home. This is not the Fatherland. In the words of Meister Eckhardt: "God is at home. We are in the far country".
So, if this seems a strange little book, that's exactly what it is. The ramblings of a stranger looking for a place to belong.
It's also an invitation to the other strangers out there, to look below the surface, to discover the eternal in the temporal, beauty in the brutal, meaning in the mundane. To discover that there's more to life than meets the eye.