“How does this work?”

One of the top questions I get as a hobo (along with “Where do you shower?” and “How did you decide to do this?”) is about logistics: how do I know where to go next?

It’s a complicated question, this, because it’s different every time. For example, I know where I’ll be next February 4th, but Wednesday morning I didn’t know where I would spend that night. Sometimes people contact me so far in advance that I build my schedule around them. Other times I go to meet a teacher and find myself in his classroom all afternoon. Sometimes I plan all year to go see an old friend. Other times snow blocks my path to Chicago and I end up heading to see a classmate in Peoria. I keep my Google calendar and a map of upcoming travels open in Firefox all the time for “planning” purposes, but a lot of it’s about flexibility.

Travels (more or less) from January to May. (Excluding Hawaii, which makes Google maps freak out.) The further out I plan, the less detail there is and the more days (or weeks) there still are to fill.

Travels (more or less) from January to May. (Excluding Hawaii, which makes Google maps freak out.) The further out I plan, the less detail there is and the more days or weeks there still are to fill. So that Peoria to Albuquerque stretch will probably involve quite a few stops but I don’t yet know what they are.

I mostly plan around invitations I’ve received and then fill in the gaps with what makes geographical sense. So how do people find me to invite me in the first place?

1. My blog

I don’t actually much like writing. You might have picked up on that from the fact that I do it so rarely. But I enjoy having written, so I do it anyway. And then people read it and like it and share it and their friends start poking around on here and see that I’m a hobo and contact me to set something up. So it all works out!

2. Facebook

These days it feels as though Facebook has almost as much to do with the direction of my life as the Holy Spirit. I’ve got a gap of a few days, so I post the time period and the approximate location on Facebook and within 3 hours I’ve got a place to stay and work to do. Or I’m worried about the snow I’m driving into and post my location so I’ve got someplace to sleep if the weather gets too bad. If you don’t mind reading about all my travel plans (and woes) on your news feed, follow me on Facebook. Who knows–maybe I’ll be passing through your town and we’ll get to hang out!

Europe in October3. Word of mouth

Last night, I spoke to a group of grad students because a friend of a friend of a friend knew someone who was involved. I stayed with women who knew the woman who knew the woman who knew the woman who knew my friend. Of course, many of the links in that chain are my real friends now, but it all happens because somebody tells somebody. That’s how I’m going to Europe in the fall (do you live in Europe? I want to come to you!!) and how I may finally make it to Alaska this summer–people who know people.

4. Straight up Providence

It’s all Providence, of course, but sometimes it’s more obvious: the guy who comes to check on me because I pulled over in front of his house to make a phone call–and then ends up praying over me in the middle of the street; the priest who introduces himself and then offers me a house to stay in and a youth group to speak at; the lady next to me on the plane who says I’ve always got a home with her; the broken-down car resulting in a plane ticket donated by a stranger. The crazy stories that keep reminding me that it’s not about me.

In the end, I don’t have to plan or worry or figure anything out. I serve a mighty God who’s been planning my hoboing since before there was time. After so many years of running my own life (and doing a rather miserable job), it’s a relief to acknowledge the he was always in charge. How does this work? Grace. Providence. And mercy working on a broken heart learning every day to trust. Thanks for all your prayers and support, friends–I couldn’t do this without the Holy Spirit working through you.

About Meg

I'm a Catholic, madly in love with the Lord, His Word, His Bride the Church, and especially His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. I'm committed to the Church not because I was raised this way but because the Lord has drawn my heart and convicted my reason. After 2 degrees in theology and 5 years in the classroom, I quit my 9-5 to follow Christ more literally. Since May of 2012, I've been a hobo for Christ; I live out of my car and travel the country speaking to youth and adults, giving retreats, blogging, and trying to rock the world for Jesus.
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6 Responses to “How does this work?”

  1. Mary Cho says:

    Meg, keep up the great work that you do. You touch hearts with your joy and sincerity. God bless you.

  2. Jenny says:

    Meg, you are amazing! I enjoy reading your blogs and the conversation we had about the Parable of the Ten Coins! You are so caring and it gives me hope that if we put trust in God, He will lead us where we are meant to be and we will be so much happier that way!

  3. I love your writing Meg…Why is it that we don’t like doing the thing that God uses the most do deliver his message? Rhetorical question, of course! When are you going to Alaska and if you can plan on stopping in Oregon around the third week in July, we would love to have you as part of our VBS. When I say we, I mean me and the frog in my pocket…However, it would be so cool to put a face on the random blogger that I quote so often in youth group and with our young adults…God bless you and keep up the good work!
    Jason Roebuck recently posted…What is God telling you to do right now?My Profile

  4. Mike Maron says:

    I know where you will be on March 9th!!! Can’t wait to meet you Meg. I’m wondering if you ever got in touch with the Navy Chaplain in Italy.

  5. Samantha Smith says:

    You spoke to my 10th grade religion class today and we all enjoyed you talking to us.. Thanks for coming! You’re awesome 🙂 Keep doing what you’re doing.

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