XPLOR, STORIES

The Road Ahead of You

Matt Sipos   |   March 29, 2017

Driving may be one of my favorite activities. It’s time that I find meditative and relaxing: taking the time to drive around and let my mind process, getting to listen to my music, admittedly a little too loud, while taking in the scenery and what is passing around me. It’s my “me” time, my temple, where I can problem-solve and look at what’s going on in my life.

I’ve had a lot of time to do this since joining NBA XPLOR. On the way out to Arizona, it was a lot of wide open road time, passing through some great scenery and other sections where there was almost nothing to look at except the sky. Now that I’m in Arizona, I have just as much time behind the wheel, but it’s not a wide-open road; the scenery has changed, and the road has come into the pattern of a city.

My placement with Interfaith Community Services has me working in the caregiving department, which helps to handle transportation for those who can no longer provide transportation for themselves. It gives me the opportunity to help those with limited means of transportation to make their way to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, hair appointments, etc.

The best part of this job is getting to invite others into my temple, where we can talk about the stories of life, the journeys that they’ve lived. Arizona has a reputation for having a large retired population, and it’s true, but it’s a wonderful trait that creates a population of diverse people who have come from all walks of life and all locations. Some of my best days at work have been spent in the conversation leading up to a shopping trip or doctor appointment.

These days have served as a reminder about this journey called life. It’s full of twists and turns, ups and downs, mountains and valleys. The terrain is always changing, but the landscape never ceases to be beautiful.

My temple may be found in my car while on the road, but our whole life is the journey. It can be full of moments that are flat out on the highway, only thinking about the destination, only thinking about what’s at the end. Other times, it’s about the curve of the road through the mountains, being in touch with your surroundings, being cautious of what’s around the bend.

The pace of your journey has to change with how your life is going, and sometimes it may be risky, but it’s how we grow and learn. Sometimes the journey isn’t even about the road ahead, but the people in the car with you, those who surround you and travel this world by your side.

No matter what your journey is about, what the destination is, who travels it with you, or how fast you’re going, you must make it. You have to wake up in the morning, decide what your path is and how you’re going to travel it, make choices and decisions and have the actions to back them up. It’s okay to pull over at a rest stop, but you can’t live your life there.

Matt Sipos is a 2016-17 NBA XPLOR Resident in Tucson-Marana, AZ. He serves with host congregation Saguaro Christian Church and community engagement site Interfaith Community Services.

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NBA XPLOR is a 10-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve.

Learn more and apply at nbacares.org/xplor.

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