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On the road

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A few years back I spent a number of months on the road, touring with a show. During that tour I became increasingly aware of a large number of people who spent most, or all, of their working lives on the road. Not just actors and actresses, but people with the circus, salesmen and saleswomen, and so on.

While the life style of someone working on the road may have a certain romantic quality, especially for the young, there can be hardships. Playwright Neil Simon, describing his new play in a recent interview, talked about them: ''It's about people who are on the road, isolated from their families and their roots, and who have to make an existence for themselves. When you're spending long periods doing that, it's a lonely life.'' n1

n1 The New York Times, March 27, 1983.

It's one thing to try to escape the loneliness and homelessness. (And unfortunately, drinking is one of the more common escape routes.) It's quite another thing to face the challenges head-on and deal with them through the teachings of Christianity.

Because Christ Jesus so clearly understood his inseparable relationship with his Father, God, it's hard to imagine anyone with a more embracing sense of family or a more constantly present sense of home than the Master. His statements about the brotherhood of man and about his Father's house bear this out. Yet he apparently had no permanent home. n2 Wasn't his home, then, a state of consciousness, the consciousness of God's presence and love?

n2 See Matthew 8:20.

From a spiritual point of view, home and companionship are mental concepts, and as such they travel with us. So the problems of the road - the isolation, the rootlessness, and so on - can be dealt with effectively in one's own thought , through prayer. It's a question of our relationship to God, a question of what we accept into consciousness.

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