Salamanca: One Day More

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matthew 6:34, NIV

“One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calvary.”

Jean Valjean, Les Miserables

Sometimes I wonder if this icestorm isn’t a godsend. I would probably be much more stressed about leaving for another country if we weren’t blockaded by horrific weather. Instead, I’ve been worrying about whether or not I’ll be able to leave. 

All kidding aside, people often ask if I’m scared or excited for this semester, and since I hate to disappoint, I feed both their vicarious travel dreams and inate fear of the unknown by saying, “both, really.” The more accurate, but far less interesting answer would be neither. Although I am a worrier, I worry about things right in front of me: where’s my next turn to get to the haunted chapel, am I just talking to myself when I write these, and currently, am I going to get sick right before I get on an international flight?

Long-term considerations don’t faze me, because I know I’ll just roll with the punches and worry about things in their due order. This isn’t from some deep application of the verse above; I don’t have magical insight, it’s just my personality.

All that said, my bags are packed and my travel clothes are laid out. My passport is secured, visa attached. I have my Spanish dictionary, SpanishDict app, and 501 Spanish Verbs with me. I have the suggestions and advice of five past Salamanca students in mind, and all of my experience marshalled.

In other words, I am in no way prepared to live in a Spanish-speaking country for five months, but since I confirm for my flights this afternoon, I guess it’s too late to turn back now.

In the quote above, Valjean is fleeing France because he fears Javier is catching up with him. Although it is his past coming back to haunt him, Valjean is wrong about it being Javier, and before escaping, events transpire which draw him into a conflict he never intended to join.

Similarly, I wonder which things I am prepared for and worried about that will actually be non-issues, and which will blindside me. With each day, a new opportunity to change is presented, the chance to create a new destiny. I pray that I may have the strength to pick up my cross and follow Christ on this “never-ending road to Calvary.”


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