I consider the trip. Two weeks had taught us to jump blindly into the backs of foreign transportation as it headed toward a group of kids, a church, a slum, a celebration. I fix my thoughts on what I saw: Palm trees, rice fields, smiles flashed from the back of a songthaew. A country rich in so much more than its infamous “tourism trade.” I meditate on this Buddhist saying:
On life’s journey
Faith is nourishment,
Virtuous deeds are a shelter,
Wisdom is the light by day and
Right mindfulness is the protection by night.
If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him;
If he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom.
While this is a commonly recognized saying from Thai culture, I would be remiss if I did not point out one thing that is NOT mentioned, which I think is the MOST important of all: LOVE. LOVE NEVER FAILS. You may fail to have faith, your deeds may fail, your wisdom may fail, your mind may fail, you may fail to live purely and without greed. These are all things that MAN must struggle to capture. Love has no fight. It simply IS. It stands alone, in and of itself, created by God, TO BE. All you have to do is love. I whole-heartedly believe by making LOVE your first move, all those other things will follow.
It was the last night of our journey.
One of our translators suggested a perfect place for our “Reflection Dinner.” It was a time to be together and meditate on all we had done and learned on our trip. Once again, we stopped at that magical sunset hour.
Taking in the serene stillness, we gave thanks for the love we were able to offer and for the love that we had received. It was one last moment of beauty before we headed home.