Why are we so restless?
All of us have a little wanderlust—a desire for that next thing, that new place, but this competes with our longings for security, control, and safety. We don’t like how it feels to be unsettled and uprooted. Whether we’re navigating a season of transition, dealing with the fallout of broken relationships, or wrestling with a deep sense of restlessness, we are all experiencing some form of exile. And most of us do whatever we can to numb the feelings of unbelonging, powerlessness, and unsettledness that come with it. But the truth is that exile has a profound purpose if we can just learn to lean in.
I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.
“Rise now from thine Laz-E Boy!”- Michelle Van Loon, Born to Wander
Born to Wander is not quite what I was expecting. When I picked it up, I anticipated it being either a reflection of the author’s own life and how she had been born to wander, or I anticipated it being a biblical guide to those who feel called to wander. Instead, I was surprised to read hasty, paraphrased versions of a LOT of different Bible stories and how they somehow “proved” that EVERYONE is called to wander, and how EVERYONE feels restless when they’ve stayed in one place for a long time (hometowns, was her example).
I will say that I do agree with many of her individual points as far as scripture and the call to get up and “go” to follow God’s will for our lives. But her overall conclusion that every single person has a constant feeling of restlessness in the sense of where they live, just seems a bit far fetched to me. If this is not her direct conclusion, then there was some unclear writing that resulted in misinterpretation because that is precisely how I read every single chapter (I read some other reviews to see if I was the only one who thought this, and there are indeed others who agree with me in this instance).
However, even if her conclusion could be overlooked to get those “nuggets of wisdom” throughout the chapters, I was still unimpressed with the content of Born to Wander. I just read stories. Very hasty, paraphrased Bible stories that all ended with a phrase or paragraph that basically stated “thus, everyone is born to wander.” There were some personal stories that I found inspiring, but again, they ended with the same type of statements as the Bible stories. The end of every chapter goes into personal questions that again, imply that everyone feels restless and yearns to wander all their lives without ever wanting to “settle down”, and if they did, it was talked about almost as if they would be missing out on God’s true calling for their lives if they did want to remain in the same town they grew up in.
Perhaps the author just assumed that only those like herself, living in dozens of places and working at dozens of jobs over the course of her life, would pick this book up and wrote it specifically for them? Or she truly believes that one must wander in order to obtain a fulfilled life as God designed it. Regardless, I really wasn’t impressed with Born to Wander, and regrettably only give it 2 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it if you want to brush up on your Bible stories though.