In answer to your question, No. This post will not include any lyrics from "Wheel in the Sky" or "Faithfully". And it will definitely not include anything related to the White Sox 2005 championship.
I'm talking about real journeys. The kind that involve physical transportation.
Last night I had the chance to take Tyce to O'Hare. We were meeting up with a good friend, Craig Liscom, who had a short layover. (Check out the website for the church Craig pastors: http://www.meadowviewchurch.net/Meadow_View_Church/Welcome.html).
I tweeted while on the aiport transit: "me & Tyce r at O'Hare meeting up w/ good bud Craig Liscom. We luv the airport." (BTW, I tweet with Twitter word-economy. 140 characters will do that to you.)
In fact, I've always loved the airport, since I was a young boy. On the infrequent times that our family would head out to the massive Grand Rapids "International" Airport to greet someone I would always get butterflies. Just being in the building was an emotional experience for me. I loved walking the terminal ramp, waiting for the passenger to emerge, hearing the roar of the plane engines, smelling the smell of the airport, stopping by the video game lounge, looking through the quarter-binoculars, seeing planes landing and taking off. In fact, for most of my young life I dreamed of being a pilot.
As an adult I still look forward to going to the airport--just being in it even when I'm not flying. I love to take my kids there. I don't even mind waiting for people at the airport--so many strange stories intersect in front of you while waiting in an airport arrival gate. I find myself guessing them--all of them. It preoccupies me.
I believe there is a special dynamic in the airport environment that comes from a journey ethos. I think there is a certain environment created by this constant mass of people in this holy place of journeys. (I mean "holy" in the context of set apart--dedicated--for a particular use.)
Journeys create expectation.
It may be an expectation of dread, joy, wonder, excitement, longing--it doesn't matter. Expectation has its own smell and feel. It forces attention forward. It forces evaluation and taking stock. It forces emotion to the surface. And when a large number of people are constantly filling a place with expectation, I think it makes for a certain ethos in that place. (What is ethos? "The characteristic spirit, prevalent tone of sentiment, of a people or community.")
Expectation is the cousin of faith.
In fact, without expectation, faith is dead. Why? Because faith is always traveling somewhere. Always. It is looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
The biblical father of faith is Abraham and what defined Abraham's faith is his expectant journey to a place God called him. Every step of Abraham's journey from Ur to Canaan--500+ miles--was asking the question, "is this it?" Its the first incidence of a kid asking dad, "are we there yet?"
So now I'll say it. You knew I would. Here it is: The church, gathered, should feel like an airport. It should be a place full of people heading somewhere. expectant. wondering. It should have journey ethos. Bags packed. moving. hoping. dreading. wondering. evaluating. double and triple checking--"do I have my ticket". expectant.
When many Jesus-followers come to the gathering of the church with the mindset of journey, the church has journey ethos.
And I could live in that airport. And it would never get old. Take me to that holy place. That holy people.