Padre’s Corner: Wherever you go, there you are

Padre Lt(N) Stephen Cogswell is currently deployed aboard MV Asterix (centre) as it heads toward the Indo-Pacific.

Padre’s Corner: Wherever you go, there you are

By Lt(N) Stephen Cogswell
Chaplain, NRU Asterix

I am presently deployed at sea supporting operations where we will travel, literally, around the world in 90 (not 80) days. It’s an amazing, even once-in-a-lifetime, experience. During the deployment we will see countries, visit ports, and have experiences that many of us may never repeat. There’s something about travel, adventure, and experiencing far-away places that affords us perspective and a sense of new beginnings, where we can almost be who we would like to be, in contrast to our everyday ordinary lives.  

But, there’s a great saying that reads: wherever you go, there you are

Another way to say it is, you can’t outrun yourself. In other words, no matter where you go, you can’t escape yourself. Sure, you might get some distance from your extended family when you move to Cold Lake, but predictably your problems will show up there too. Wherever you go, there you are. The same bags I brought on ship from the jetty in Halifax, are still the same ones in my cabin today, no matter which continent I’m visiting.  

So, if that axiom is true (and I think that it is) we have an opportunity to experience this with either a negative or positive outcome. But this doesn’t happen by accident or good intentions. Instead it requires discipline, intentionality and a willingness to “hug the cactus” in our lives, if necessary.   

With that in mind, most of us have some of those things that are left undone, unresolved. They’re with us no matter where we go. So perhaps the go-forward is meeting with a professional to unpack some of those proverbial boxes. Or maybe it’s a conversation with a trusted friend to process things – maybe for the first time – that have been relegated to the figurative junk drawer. Or it could be as simple and direct as sending that text or making that call that’s long overdue.

There’s a great couple of verses in the Bible that say, “So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.” Hebrews 12:1-2

If life is indeed a race, an adventure, a journey, why not trek with as little weight on our backs as possible? Because, wherever we go, there we are.