Wonderlust By Vicki Kuyper; Read: April 2011

Thirty journeys in one book. It felt like there was more.

Vicki Kuyper’s Wonderlust is one of my serendipitous finds. For one thing, it doesn’t look like the usual spiritual book. That’s until I read the word “spiritual” on the jacket. Even so, it just looks like any other travelogue. And that was what was disarming about it.

In spite of being about journeys, I was not prepared for the one I was going to make.

From the first journey, I already came to like how Kuyper writes. She writes with enough detail—not too little for me to keep wondering about the picture, not too much to be overwhelmed by the picture. And her writing is just like her pace in walking, trekking, climbing, rappelling, or whatever she was doing. Even when she’s trying to catch her breath, she still catches the scenery around her.

One more thing that I was not prepared for: reflection. There were questions at the end of the journey. And some of those questions were best answered with its companion book in hand. In other words, I needed the Bible with me.

Now, reflecting and riding the train doesn’t really mix, especially not if you only ride during the rush hours. And rush hours mean sweat, people, and more sweat. Plus not that much of a space or comfort for reflection. The train has never been a conducive place for being spiritual. Or so I thought.

But on that first journey, I immediately realized that I shouldn’t rush this.

Once again, I read a book with such control and determined pace. It was reading Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life again. Although Wonderlust has fewer pages, it still took me quite some time to finish the whole book. The former was read one chapter per day. The latter was read one journey per train ride. Maybe now you can imagine the pace I took.

Well, yes, I could have made more progress if I read in my usual pace but then I’d be reading for the sake of reading. And this book isn’t meant just to be read. I was on my way to discover some things about myself. And discovery will take a lot of time, patience, and more honesty than I’d care to give. (Of course, whatever I discovered is between God and me.)

Just to be clear though, Kuyper isn’t a Bible thumper. At least, I don’t think so. And she doesn’t have just one tone through out the book. As well as light and funny moments, there are also dark and sad times.

And if there was anything that I was prepared for, it was music. This book and my small collection of classical songs were a good combination. Depapepe’s versions of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, 4th movement and Pachelbel’s Air in G plus the many renditions of Bach’s Minuet in G including Sungha Jung’s Minuet in Fingerstyle. Add to that the acoustic and instrumental interpretations of church hymns like O Worship the King, Sweet Hour of Prayer, I Love You Lord, My Faith Looks Up to Thee, and How Great Thou Art.

Like with most journeys I have taken, I have come to like and love what I have seen, both in the book and inside me. And it has revived in me my wandering spirit. Now if only I could just keep it alive.


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