Why did Yaakov Avinu feel this way? That's the interesting question.
After all, the Avot & Imahot were not sentimental people. They were firmly grounded in emunah. Olam Haba wasn't merely an obscure idea; it was more real to them than This World.
They loved their children in the deepest way possible – but without getting sappy or sentimental about them. They knew that regardless of how little time they ended up spending with them in This World, they would spend eternity with their children and each other in the Next World.
Traveling also meant a long, grueling journey in ancient times – something particularly arduous for the older man Yaakov Avinu was by then.
So what was Yaakov's real motivation for seeing Yosef?
Why Even Emunah Peshutah Demands that You Should Go Out & Look
(On pages 4-6, Rav Miller explains in detail and via compelling stories how that works.)
And this is a lesson to us, to really open our eyes and see Hashem's Hand in everything.
We can have emunah peshutah (simple faith) and still greatly benefit from looking at Hashem's World and actively noticing His Presence in it.
As Rav Miller explains on page 8:
Emunah peshutah is very good. It’s excellent if you have the emunah peshutah you were taught in your childhood – very good, very good! But it’s not good enough!
I once gave a mashal here.
Suppose Moshe Rabeinu announced to the Am Yisroel, “Let us all come now to Har Sinai to see Hashem come down on the mountain and give us the Torah.”
And here is one Jew who says, “I have emunah peshutah. I don't have to go. You go and tell me and I'll believe you. When you come back, tell me what happened and I'll be mekabel.”
Oh no! You're missing an opportunity. You have to come and see it for yourself!
ּאִלו ּ קֵרְבָנו לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי וְלֹא נָתַן לָנו
Seeing something is altogether different. Just to be there and see with your own eyes gives you emunah.
So this frum Jew who has emunah peshutah, we say to him, “Nothing doing! You better go out into the world with open eyes and get a little more emunah than peshutah.”
What is the Best Baggage You Can Bring with You to The Next World?
On pages 9-11, Rav Miller explains how to do this with leaves.
On page 9, Rav Miller emphasizes:
“Everything in this world,” says the Rambam, “has within it חָכְמָה עֲמֻקה שֶׁאֵין לָהקֵץ – a deep wisdom with no end to its profundity."
Every natural object is full of the wisdom of Hashem with no end to it. And for what purpose?
It’s trying to show you something; it wants to make known to you the greatness of Hashem.
On page 12, he even recalls the time he used an orange to respond to on person's demand that Rav Miller prove there's a God.
Let's end with a final quote from Rav Miller on page 15 (boldface mine):
When we come to the Next World we will be questioned, “What did you bring along with you? How much baggage did you bring from your stay in that world?”
And therefore our purpose in this world is to fill our lives with as much baggage as possible – and the best baggage you can bring along with you to Olam Habo is a mind that thought constantly about Hashem.