Traveling

Travel. It can be a noun-- Travel is fascinating; It can be a verb--I travel in my work; It can also be an adjective--A travel junkie. For some, it is inspiring and exhilarating, some see it as a fear of the unknown, yet for others, it is a manner in which they conduct their professional work. I believe it is all of these and more.

God uses travel for providing us more perspective.In Mark 16:15 “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” During our recent trip to Sweden, a stranger asked us if we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We responded with a hearty, "Yes!" and gave him a thumbs up. Later, we ate at this fabulous restaurant, and who was the owner and greeter? Yep, the man who'd posed the question to us earlier in the day. Coincidence? I think not. Rather, in Luke 13:29 “And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”

During our stay we had a couple of unnerving situations--our taxi driver was trying to maneuver through the narrow streets of Gamla Stan (Sweden) where cars are not to be! It was scary, but in the end we trusted God, and we not only got to our destination, but our poor cab driver (somehow) got backed out of an extremely narrow street--we checked back to be sure. In another instance, our taxi didn't arrive at the time we needed to get to the airport. It is 4:30 AM, we have no internet connectivity, there are few others out and about (or are not those cognizant-enough to provide guidance) and we are trying to figure out our next move. Mike brilliantly thinks of a plan, and it worked! Here, God shared in Psalm 18:36 “You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.”

While in Iceland, we were hoping to see the Arora Borealis--Northern Lights. During our journey we learned what a true miracle seeing them really is. You see, they are created by an infrared wave generated and forced off from the sun--imagine billions of infrared particles which travel so quickly they only take 18 hours to get near Earth. Because we have an infrared shield protecting us (God's hand at work) we are protected from them. Yet, some break through and get trapped into this shield--known as the Arora. What a majestic reminder of God's creation to not only provide us with sustenance from the sun, but also to protect us from such waves, sure to devastate our planet. Genesis 1:1-4 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.”

In Norway, we marveled at the magnificent Viking ships preserved from between 800-1000. The courage and determination exercised by the Vikings was astounding. Exodus 13:21--By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel by day or night.”

All in all, travel is about balance, perspective, and rejuvenation. As Rich Steves described it, "Travel is rich with learning opportunities, and the ultimate souvenir is a broader perspective." And, Darranna Gidel added, "You lose sight of things...and when you travel, everything balances out." Finally, in the words of Pico Iyer, "We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and to learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate."

May you travel to obtain your own perspective and balance, if even within our own neighborhoods, city, and state--as there is much perspective to be gained and much need to be addressed.

 By God's grace,

Tammy Heflebower

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