Restless Hearts

It's the traveling time of year.

Vacations, reunions, weddings, holidays... summer is that magical time of year when it happens.

We have a little bit of that in our own plans. A wedding, a concert, a possible roadtrip, visitors, etc. But as a restless soul, I long for the runaway trips. The jump-on-a-plane and see where it takes you, the path less traveled, detour kind of trips. The ones that aren't planned, aren't expected, and aren't on the watch of anyone else.

unquiet or uneasy, as a person, the mind, or the heart.

It's always been this way.

Thankfully, I married someone who knows what to do.

"Get in the car," he'll say. "Just tell me when to turn and which way."

I climb in, body nearly shaking with the urge to run. I used to do it alone, but when he first heard me utter the words, "I'm a restless soul. Sometimes I need to run and not know where I'm running," he didn't question why or let me disappear. He has always promised to go with. Even if it means going in silence, it still means he's going. So from the moment we said "I will" I've never gone without him.

There's not always a trigger, but it's always sudden. It has meant skipping class or leaving late at night, driving on and on, climbing through woods, scaling steep cliff-sides, with no phone, no music, no noise but the wind. Never to a mall or a restaurant or even a trail. Mostly near water, twinkling lights, rainy weather, or forests.

It's when my mind calls my body to go anywhere but here. Maybe it's a flight or fight response to something subconscious. Whatever it is, it feels urgent.

Does this happen to you?

Maybe it's from the comparison game you find yourself in based on social media. Maybe it's because you're suddenly homesick for an honest conversation with that certain friend. Maybe your work is feeling tedious, and your colleagues are wearing you thin. Maybe it's because your travels suddenly feel more like obligations than adventure. Maybe it's simply the idea of losing yourself in a time and place outside your routine that has you grappling for uncertainty and spontaneity.

Whatever it is, give it a listen sometimes. The timing won't always be right. The finances will never look like you want them to. But give yourself that room to run. Your greatest adventures often come from a whim. Check the excuses at the door and go. Go anywhere but here.

Don't do it out of discontent or selfishness. Not even to "escape reality." Do it because you need to breathe deep. You need time alone to spend with God and take in the beauty of His creation and rebalance whatever is teetering the wrong way. You'll come back a few hours or days later feeling refreshed and motivated with a greater sense of stability and enthusiasm. It does the soul good and I'm here to tell you this:

Follow your restless heart.