Back to LA and loving it

After a whirlwind trip back to the mother land, which was full of oddity, raucous laughter and not-enough giving of myself, I lurched back into my ride and headed back 'home' to the West Coast. I didn't feel refreshed through Indiana, Illinois - falling asleep in the middle - but by the time I awoke - with a bit of procurement - I was ready to get to California and make it happen.

The long and beautiful trek through Western Colorado, and Utah took the entirety of the day and evening of last Saturday. --Whoa, has it only been a week?!-- By the time I scaled the Sierra Madre and saw the lights of Rancho Cucamonga, I knew what is often clothed and hidden in my heart; I'm back to where i want to be.

And, in saying that I didn't feel bad. But it hasn't left me feeling a sense of peace about the entire thing. I love my family, I'm proud to be from Indiana, but I have felt a strong pull to stay there, a reservation from fellow family and friends - unapologetic about their desire for me to be 'home'. In that instant of seeing the artificial beacons in the warm valley below, I felt I'd escaped that pull, which for all intensive purposes, has been a monstrous burden for me. Some people move and leave all behind, start a new life, make new friends and call the 'new' place home in a matter of weeks. They obviously weren't a member of my family. For as far as I travel I'm latched to their loving grip, and I have yet to fully 'move' away. If I make the break to start a life I want - and need - to live, I become someone dismissing the importance of family, condemning their love and

But, it's nothing like any of that. The greatest fault in remaining within the same community or region for the entirety of your life, is in how you rob your senses of perspective building exercise that only adventure, travel and interaction with those different than you, can bring. Therefore, you could never understand my perspective - and through my experience - I can never honor yours, in its full capacity.


I slept until I had to awake early to clean and deliver the van, not around the corner but 3.5 hours away to Fresno. Thoroughly exhausted, both ways, I made my way up and back; crashed at 5:30 p.m. and didn't rise, except to watch an episode of Downton Abbey at midnight, until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Monday I attempted to catch up on what has become my life - with no complaints. I drove a car out to Mira Loma and picked up another - a car that will soon attach a fantastic story. (more on that this week).

Tuesday, after having cleaned and serviced my ride for the past few months, I delivered a car - to be leased - to a recently-returned missionary family. The couple had been in Morocco for 17 years, church planting and had done quite a bit of traveling on all other continents. As I pulled into the drive way, I stepped out and awkwardly shook Cary's hand. Immediately we switched from my job with MATS - which we hadn't even begun to scratch the surface - to Tim Tebow and his NFL Christian-heroics. We then transitioned back to my job, and thirty-five minutes later, I found myself being ushered into - what I found out later to be - his sister in-law's house. We chatted for literally hours about MATS, the car business, education, perspectives on traveling, perspectives on life, mission work, business, journalism, the business of journalism and our common distaste for the downfall of genuine interaction in young people.

Later, after much talking, lunch with the family and a maze of a Northern California strip-mall parking lot, Cary dropped me off in Tracy, Calif. to pick up my next ride. A lot of ride out to Tracy included silence, which was a new development for us as we'd talked for seven hours straight. However, we touched on the importance of mission work and bringing real-world-tangible education and experience to the villages in which his mission administers. For the first time I had at least reached the hurdle that had plagued me for many years - the very thing that has quelled me about mission work. For the first time I realized and/or put together the practicality of the Western-educated into low-income, low-educated mission fields, helping to first create a better-way of life, then to minister the Gospel through action and word.

I had a wonderful time and didn't want to leave those seven hours.

During my drive home, other than listening to Grapevine Fires about 19 times, I thought about my future - as I always am - and how I could now see myself, using my talents to procure the needy in the places where I dream of going.

Next hurdle; find out where my talents lie.


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