A Different Rhythm
By: Allie Baumgarten
This place. This moment. This picture.
Every time I’m asked any of the token questions along the lines of, “if you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?” this is immediately what I see. I see those vivid blues, the storm clouds slowly but surely rolling, the sun hitting the mountains in creative fashion, the combination of stone and sand, the dear friend on the edge of the dock, and the best part: the story behind it all.
If you and I run into each other soon, I’ll give you the full story, but for now… I’ll give you the abridged version.
Picture this: a motley crew of nine friends had a really good idea to make a rare trip down to the southern tip of Chile in order to find one of Patagonia’s own wonders of the world. We spent a few weeks giving our best effort to make plans, book hostels, rent cars, find guides — anything, really. And we came up empty-handed. Every single time.
It didn’t take long to discover the reason why this was such a rare trip to make: it’s close to impossible. Online reservations are not a thing. Finding a place to exchange money is a wild goose chase. Rental cars are a tossup, especially if you are underage. Every review mentions the danger of the trek. Not to mention, airports have 1 gate and happen to close for the day faster than you can say, “hola.”
One event after another lead to the nine of us in an old, beat up, manual mini van, driving five hours on a gravel, windy road. There were no signs, no gas stations, no humans in sight. But we did have a mini speaker, an old Chilean map, all of our camping gear, and the entire Patagonian region for our viewing pleasure. We knew something would have to work out in our favor. Spirits were high, music was loud, and we were speeding through those winding gravel roads. All systems were go. We drove for an hour before everything around us turned pitch black, the roads became far from navigable, cars were drifting, and we realized we were the only non-Chileans out there. Hearts were pumping and minds were wondering if we’d even make it there. With every turn, we questioned if we were in the right place, or if we missed a step. Turns out, we were exactly where we needed to be the entire time, and you bet your bottom dollar we freaking made it. It was wild. it was honestly the gnarliest road trip imaginable. But we had what we needed, and we made it.
This photo was taken from my view the moment I woke up the next morning. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. In an instant, this trip became more than a good idea. It was all real. We were there. All around us were those vivid blues, the storm clouds slowly but surely rolling, the sun hitting the mountains in creative fashion, the combination of stone and sand, the dear friend on the edge of the dock, and now the chaotic story behind it all.
And the best part is, we couldn’t have planned the details beforehand. Decisions had to be made as we navigated the trip, and all that we had to do was be ready and willing. We simply couldn’t have figured it all out, not because we were terrible planners, but because it was beyond our pay grade.
I wanted to share this with you because I need the reminder for daily life, and maybe you do, too. We all have our fair share of good ideas, hopes, dreams, aspirations, you name it, for our lives. But the reality is it is beyond our ability to have every detail figured out in order to make it all happen. And I have a hunch it’s supposed to be that way.
I don’t say this because we should be chilling in the back seat because “God has a plan.” That’s not where I’m headed. No, where I’m headed is a rhythm of deeper trust, fuller love, better adventures. I’m headed to green pastures, to quiet waters, to a place of engagement with God where we experience and grow to love the fact God is really good at His job. And because He is, we get to make moves and walk with Him every single step of the way. We can trust Him with even the scary details because He designed our hearts, and therefore knows how to fill them. He knows what He’s doing. He will lead us the best. We just have to be ready and willing.