In three days, I’ll be on my way to Spain. Almost every “must-do” has been checked off my preparation list. Suitcases are packed, making sure to leave enough room to bring home a few souvenirs.
I don’t consider myself an adventurer. In fact, I generally avoid taking risks.
I’m certainly not a daredevil! Truthfully, I harbor quite a few fears and am inclined to take the safest path.
Despite these characteristics, however, wanderlust is woven into my bones.
I welcome almost any opportunity to travel, to discover new regions, meet new people, explore different cultures.
The notion of never traveling beyond the comfort and predictability of home sends shivers to my soul!
In reading the Bible, it seems God designed us for movement.
In the Old Testament, God often transported his children to new regions. Abraham was moved away from the familiarity of home and family to go to a land God promised to show him (See account in Genesis 12).
Moses was tasked by God to lead a massive group of Israelites—people who had lived as slaves for multiple generations—to the new “promised land.” Their journey ended up taking 40 years! (See full account in Exodus.)
In the New Testament, Jesus turned the well-established religious system upside down, moving believers away from adhering to restrictive laws, promising radical relational freedom governed by love—love for God, others and self. (See various accounts in Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.)
After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, persecution plagued Christ’s disciples, causing them to disperse. Because of their travels, the gospel (“good news”) spread far and wide, and the promise of eternal spiritual life was presented to many. (See Acts)
I’ve never been to Spain. I look forward to seeing new sites and experiencing the culture near the capital of Madrid and into the Catalonia region around Barcelona.
Because my upcoming trip is about more than visiting never-before-seen sites, I also anticipate growth and movement in my soul. My spirit leapt when I heard about the opportunity to join this group destined for an educational pilgrimage to Spain. Excitement since first learning of the opportunity last autumn has never waned.
I leave with few pre-conceived notions about what will happen—probably because several years ago, it dawned on me, every time I’ve tried to figure out what God was up to, I was wrong!
As has been the case in previous personal retreats, I’m praying one of my favorite prayers in preparation: “Surprise me, God!” So far, God’s surprises haven’t disappointed.
If you think of me during the next couple weeks, please pray for travel safety and personal wellness for each in our group. More importantly, however, I’d appreciate your prayers that during this season of spiritual education and immersion, each heart will hear from God in special ways equipping us to return to our respective home bases prepared to better complete the “good work” God has planned for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
I want you to know, also, that as I’m in Spain, I will be praying for each Listening on the Journey… reader.
Blessings on our journeys of the soul…
Travel to faraway places is often life changing. When I did a Google search for quotes about travel, words from Mary Ann Radmacher, popped out. My first international travel to South Africa in 2005 was heart changing. I will always remember the people, magnificent animals, and shall never forget stunning South African sunsets such as this one.