Invitation

I really hate airports.

They’re always crowded, always busy, and always loud. I’m usually in such a hurry that it warrants plowing over fellow travelers or being stuck on extended layovers caused by “technical difficulties beyond our control”. I’m always getting honked at by some angry employee barreling through the terminal on a cart, always paying somewhere between and arm and a leg for a stale hamburger and always, it seems, always receiving dagger eyes from the lady with blue gloves that works security, the one who seems to think that forgetting to remove one’s belt before stepping through the scanner warrants glares normally reserved for men who shot-gun kittens. If Dante were around and writing today, it wouldn’t be called “Purgatory”, it’d be “O’Hare.”

I really just hate airports.

This morning, however, as my wife and I check flight times, double check baggage weights and stuff granola bars in our pockets, I’m not even thinking about the airport. I’m just thinking about where we’re going; I’m thinking about Iceland.

Iceland: a mysterious land sitting in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, formed in ages past by the eruption of massive volcanoes and shifting tectonic plates. Iceland: the country with the northernmost capital of the world, where winters are long but lit by the extravagance of the aurora borealis, where summer’s midnight sun illuminates a landscape described by one tourist as “out of this world.”

It’s the land of sagas and myths, where national pride is rivaled only by a welcoming nature and the native tongue has hardly altered in nearly 1,000 years. It’s a thriving epicenter of culture, home to renowned poets, writers, world-famous musicians and international chess champions. It’s the epitome of Nordic traditions, a place where one can actually go on elf excursions when the tour guide isn’t even slightly kidding, the origin of globally acknowledged beauty queens and the locale where Quentin Tarantino once noted that McDonald’s employees could very well be models.

I’m thinking about Iceland.

I cannot say when the siren call of Iceland first entered my mind. But since the youngest age I can remember, something inside me has drawn me north. Scanning a world map as a young child I was constantly drawn towards its northern pole. Tracing my finger, just south of there, I beheld a tiny island amidst a vast sea.

And I couldn’t help but wonder: what kind of people lived there? What were their stories? Who were the souls that quietly settled and inhabited this mysterious volcanic island?

I don’t know what to call this stirring within me, wanderlust, adventure, curiosity, the Spirit… but whatever it was, it continued to foster and grow. In college I learned that one of my favorite bands originated from Iceland and obsessed myself with their music. I read travel guides and dreamed of spending a month hitch-hiking around the country. I even spent one socially exclusive Friday night attempting to teach myself snippets of the language (an endeavor which promptly ceased when my roommate kindly informed me that he wasn’t sure what Icelandic sounded like but was positive it didn’t entail the orc-ish sounds I was garbling).

Fast-forward a couple years to a conversation I was having with my girlfriend, who (spoiler alert) would later become my fiancé and {(not as much but still a) spoiler alert} is now my wife. I told her about my fascination with the country and shared how I’d recently searched a massive database (read: Google) and found a church in the capital city willing to host us as summer interns. She considered the prospect briefly, no doubt wondering what horrible life decision lead to landing a boyfriend who’s idea of a romantic adventure involved down jackets in July. After calculating these missteps, she replied with a simple: “Well… let’s go!”

And so we are.

We’re going to explore, to learn, to share: share our hearts, our stories and The Story we’ve been grafted into. We’re going to see the world and see the Creator of the world from a different angle, like moving sideways to examine a famous painting. We’re going to help who we can help, join in worship with whoever wants to worship, and embrace the common mysterious link that binds us all in a landscape that cannot help but testify to this mystery.

And so today, for once, I’m not really dreading the airport.

Now if you’re reading this blog, logic would lead me to believe that you must be A) really bored 2) family and friends that are also really bored or D) a least a little bit intoxicated.

But here you are. And while I have you I must extend this invitation:

Journey with us to the land of the midnight sun. Travel with us as we venture into a mystical land to interact with a spectacular culture. Join us on this adventure to Iceland. Come with us to Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Akureyri, Garðabær and (pending the possibility of literally blowing it’s top off) Eyjafjallajökull. Follow us here, on this blog, as we take our adventure. We don’t know quite what to expect but we know it’s worth expecting. And we hope you come with us.

It’ll be the best boring moment of your day.

So will you join us? Will you accept this invitation?

For the record: I promise there will be no shot-gunning of kittens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Invitation

  1. Haha, I particularly enjoyed the part about attempting to learn Icelandic. I’m studying myself, and it’s very difficult! Good luck at Emmanuel, I’ll be praying for clarity for you guys. I’m from the states myself, helping out with media at Loftstofan this fall. Gunnar told me about you guys, and I’m stoked for you!

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