SAUCIER — Sic transit


“How you travel is where you arrive.”

I found that little aphorism in some of my notes. There was no clue where it came from. Google didn’t even know.

I thought it was something the Mad Hatter said, but it’s not in Alice in Wonderland.

I was a bit obsessed. It cut too close to home. I’ve traveled a bit, but too often, the focus was on the destination, not the journey.

Traveling for work, I’d be thinking about the meeting, the talk or whatever I had to do when I got there.

On a family trip, I was wondering why the hunger, the bathroom calls, and the sleep schedules of six kids would never sync.

Now I question how much my arrivals may have been impoverished by opportunities missed in my travel.

As I tend to do in times of guilt, I think of Jesus.

In the ninth chapter of Luke, Jesus “set his face” toward Jerusalem. He has a steely resolve to go to the seat of religious and political power, to surrender himself to the inevitable fate that awaits.

Jesus was in Samaria at the time, a little over 100 kilometers from Jerusalem, maybe four or five days of walking.

But it takes Jesus 10 chapters to get there.

He’s not stalling or dawdling.

Along the way, he teaches his disciples and tells stories of mustard seeds, hidden lamps, narrow doors, lost sheep, and prodigal sons.

He engages a lawyer in discussion of which is the greatest commandment. (Spoiler alert: it’s love.)

He tells a rich aristocrat the secret of eternal life. (Also love.)

He befriends a diminutive tax collector perched in a tree.

He takes time to make whole the sick and wounded, including a crippled woman on the sabbath, a man swollen with dropsy, and some less-than-grateful lepers.

He finally arrives as he traveled — teacher, healer, prophet, and Son of Man.

I’ll never be any of those, but I can be a better traveler, not just on a long drive to the beach, but on the day-to-day journey of life.

I can be more attentive to those around me, listen more and ask more questions.

I can allow myself the time and the freedom to be surprised by beauty, mystery and joy in the world around me.

I can be more present to every moment.

But, as the Dodo did say to Alice, “The best way to explain it is to do it.”