Posts Tagged With: adventure
Last night, I chose to sleep on the sidewalk on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California.
There are homeless people sleeping on the streets literally about every 10 – 15 feet. Why? It would be easy for those who haven’t experienced it to say they are lazy or they should all get jobs at McDonalds, but many hold that viewpoint because they’ve never experienced homelessness and lack compassion in their hearts – and the lack of compassion in our society is the true source of homelessness.
When we see a problem, why is it for many of us our initial response is to find who to blame? Let’s put aside that as it adds nothing to the solution. Let’s put on compassion, open our heart, open our home, open our wallet, and start making a difference in someone who is worth just as much as anyone else. See beyond the appearance. Love, – D.R>
This morning I was in Monterey, California and chose to go to Big Sur. After spending the previous two nights at an open 24 hours Denny’s, sleeping for about 30 minutes on the beach of Monterrey, and being heavily caffeinated on Starbucks and Denny’s coffee, I needed a change in scenery.
I found the first bus leaving Monterrey headed south to Big Sur, and used my dwindling $4 for the ride (I now had about $5 left in total). If you’ve never heard of Big Sur, I suggest you search through images of Big Sur on Google. From all of my hiking up and down the west coast, Big Sur was certainly the most spectacular sight to behold.
I had been hiking through Big Sur for about 2 or 3 hours, when I came to a place of road construction. Because the road was closed to one lane, it made it impossible for me to continue hiking while cars were passing through. I stopped to wait. I was standing beside the road, when a streak of blue passed by with two young women in their mid-twenties. As they drove next to me, in their brand new Mustang, the young lady in the passenger yelld “Ya wanna hop in?”
My choice was obvious. I ran to catch up with them, literally “hopped in”, and we drove around the windy roads of magnificient Big Sur.
Like myself, the kind young women who had offered a ride to me didn’t have much of a plan. Eventually, they would make it to Los Angeles, hopefully before that evening to go to a concert in Long Beach. After asking me a couple of times if I were a serial killer, they offered for me to ride the entire way to LA with them, if I would like. Since I always like to go with the flow, that seemed to be where the flow was going.
I approached my campsite in Florence, Oregon and met a man in his 70′s with long, dazzling white hair, who was reading a book. He introduced himself as “Sky” and we began to get to know each other a bit.
Sky had traveled around the world 4 times, most often without any money. He was a street musician from the 60′s era who would go from place to place playing guitar on the streets to earn his food money for the day. I spent three days of time with this person and all he spoke of was the love and freedom of God. He presented truth in an incredibly simple and non-judgmental manner that was truly refreshing. He spoke of the Holy Spirit and the limitless possibilities of what He is capable. We shared stories of what we’ve seen God do in our lives and the lives of others, shared meals, and shared revelation we’ve both received. It was an incredible three days in Florence.
There was also a homeless man there. I say “also” because Sky wasn’t homeless, his home was the earth. It was interesting viewing these two different people, in seemingly similar living circumstances. Sky had no doubt that everything he needed was always provided for by God, and he spoke with confidence in the truth. The other man was bitter towards the world and spoke of the struggles and difficulties of being homeless. I am in now way meaning that being homeless on the streets cannot be a difficult way to live, but the interesting dynamic was that Sky greatly enjoyed life, while the other man was struggling through life.
Over the past few years I’ve taken many trips “into the unknown.” What I mean is, I’ve started a journey, traveling from place to place without destination, without much money, and without knowledge of how I would survive.
I always remember the first step, which is often that hardest to take. Each time I take that step, fully realizing I have just crossed over from everything I knew, into everything I did not know. This step then begins a battle between excitement and fear, and though fear may appear more prevalent at times, excitement and sureness have always won.
It’s incredible what God can do when we step into the world of the unknown. A world where He is completely our total reliance. I remember walking along highway 101 in northern Oregon one evening, the sun was moments away from giving way to darkness. I had about $8 to my name and it looked I would be walking another 6 or 7 hours until approaching the next town of Astoria. Right at the time a truck pulled over and asked if I’d like a ride into Astoria – perfect timing.
I arrived in Astoria at about 9pm, still without a clue as to how or where I would sleep. When someone from Astoria has told me about a place that was “a step below a hostel and a step above a homeless shelter.” It sounded perfect to me. They gave me directions and I pursued to find the establishment where I might sleep for the evening. When I found the building I spoke with some gentleman outside who said I’d found the place, but I’d have to speak to the house manager about staying for the night. Luckily they said, he was there, finishing up a Bible study. I walked through the front door, made my introduction, and secured a couch for the nigh, before heading to Portland in the morning.
That is just one story, from the many cases on my two month long Explroation of the west coast, this past summer, where nothing seemed to be coming to my aid, in a time of seemingly distress. Yet I never felt incredibly stressed. There were moments of fear, but they were brief. I continuously practiced the thought in my head that “I’m doing great!” I wasn’t hungry, I had water, I had clothing, and if need be I would find somewhere to sleep at some point.
Why should I fear the world around me?
This past summer I spent two months on the west coast of the USA. I traveled those two months from Los Angeles to the northern Oregon border and back to LA, on a journey that would see many new relationships found, precious moments shared, and an adventure of a lifetime. Luckily for me, adventures of a lifetime are one thing of which I am a wealthy man. I flew to LA from my hometown of Oklahoma City with a one-way plane ticket I managed to land for only $85. The extent of my plan being to land in LA at around 11:15, find a bench in the airport to close my eyes through the dark of night, and begin my journey of the west coast at sunrise. That first night saw no sleep. I layed beneath some chairs in the corner of an airdock waiting room; nearby where some kids apparently in high school were conversing about the three songs which continuously repeated over the airport speakers. Where were they going? Why were these “kids” in an airport at 2 in the morning? These questions would go unanswered. I checked the sunrise time for LA that morning and decided I would go outside about 30 minutes before liftoff! My first steps outside of the airport brought me in front of a bench occupied by two security guards, lending their heroine protection to the airport guests. What painstaking work it must be to secure an airport at 4am with 4 guests who inhabit an airport at that time. I’m curious if cigarettes are provided to give security guards enough activity at that time? Anyways; I gave a moment to thought of my direction on which to embark… North.