From The Living Church-
I am a recovering idealist. I suffer from an unhealthy infatuation with spiritual highs that sidesteps or overlooks the reality of daily living. I would much rather skip over all the details and rituals that must be enacted or endured every day and cut straight to the mountaintop experience, in which the limitations of time and space seem to fall away, and the truly spiritual unfolds before me.
As a teenager, I went on extended overseas mission trips as a way to pursue those mountaintop experiences. Leaving behind the mundane and unimportant things that occupied folks back at home, I was off serving the Lord in a foreign country, enduring hardships, experiencing another culture. This isn’t to diminish the spiritual growth I experienced while on these trips; those experiences shaped me in important ways for which I am very grateful. However, in hindsight, I see how I let these trips reinforce a spiritual idealism that, while exhilarating, was doomed to fail me as soon as we landed back on American soil and I had to face my mundane, everyday teenage life back at home. The time I spent in high school between those trips was difficult, in no small part because those experiences could not be duplicated in my everyday life.