The late British author Roger Deakin was described as “an explorer of the undiscovered country of the nearby.”
I think this is very descriptive of what all disciples of any faith are called to do. Tom’s Sufis describe it as “being awake.” Others describe it as being “observant.” But the point is to explore the nearby as much as much as we explore far away mountains. We are also called not just to explore the nearby parks and trails, we are called to explore the hearts of those close in relation and proximity. Is there a close neighbor who needs comfort, a relative who needs family, or an old friend who feels abandoned? We explore the nearby by reaching out and listening to those closest. It is just as important as exploring the needs of those in faraway lands and those we’ve never met.
There is an expression in sports that you “first must take care of your own house” before you can defeat the opponent on the road. Exploring the nearby is in some way protecting your “own home court advantage.” Besides exploring implies discovery of something new and different. Today make it a point “to explore the nearby.”
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