Written by Emily Marzofka / May 2017
When I first sat down to write this article, it was pretty difficult. The idea was to write about “taking God with you as you travel.” There are obvious suggestions, such as: Remember to pray, bring a Bible, and continue your current daily devotional. Don’t get me wrong, these are incredibly important – but how would a person exercise their faith differently while travelling as opposed to being still? After all, you should be seeking God 24/7, and that shouldn’t change just because you are on vacation or breaking routine.
That’s when it hit me: The two reasons I love travelling so much, and why I am so much closer to Him because of it. The first, because God created the Earth, and said it was good. The second, because He told us to go out to all nations. You see, I had been looking at the article in the way many of us look at our lives: Upside-down. While I had been thinking, “How do we take God with us on the road,” I should have been thinking, “How does God take us on the road?” While I was so worried about how to keep God close to me while out on vacation, work-travel, exploration, or any other routine-breaking activity, I forgot that travelling is one of His many tools for keeping us close to Him.
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
The very first thing we find out about God is that He made the Earth and everything in it. He made the mountains we climb, the forests we hike through, and the oceans we swim in (even though we are mildly scared of sand sharks and jellyfish attacks). He made the Italian shorelines and Irish countrysides. He created the people that live in this world. He created this earth and taught it how to spin, and then He said it was good. When God gives out that high of a compliment, why are we not rushing like we are on fire to explore the example? When our best works are like dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6), how can we keep from the curiosity of what He said was good? Every time I see the curves of his landscape or the differences in His people, I pray in thanks for the new ways He has given me to grow and engage the world.
This is the whole reason we are still here – to praise the Lord and light the world.
The second reason that I believe travelling is such a close act to God, is that He told us to do it. He told us, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). For some of us, this means reaching out to our neighbors or donating to mission efforts. But for those in the position to do some travelling, keep in mind this purpose: This is the whole reason we are still here – to praise the Lord and light the world. While we explore His awesome planet, we should be sharing the reason for our curiosity as we go. Christ redeemed our world through His death on the cross and His resurrection, and now we get to share that gospel with the world. It’s as simple as that.
So whether you are travelling for vacation or stepping out of your comfort zone into something bigger, remember Who is giving you the chance. With every sigh of happiness, remember the One who directed your steps. With every whispered “wow,” remember your purpose. Continue to light the world, and let God keep you close through His glory.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise from the ends of the earth,
You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice,
The villages that Kedar inhabits.
Let the inhabitants of Sela sing,
Let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
And declare His praise in the coastlands.