A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Friday, July 2, 2010

God Talk: On Travel and other Thoughts

When I was preparing to emcee our last MOPS meeting, I became quite struck by how much travelling is a way of life for many of God's people in the Bible.
Abraham, was called by God to leave his father's family and move to an unknown location.
In the last 3 years of his life, Jesus travelled all around Palestine... preaching, healing, partying and dropping in on friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
Paul, the former religious fanatic... became perhaps the most prolific Christian in all of history travelled around much of the Roman empire, telling people about the Jesus that changed his life on the Damascus Road. In his travels, he started churches, endured persecution and hardship.
Without the benefits of modern conveniences, travelling was probably the most important means of procuring supplies and keeping in touch with loved ones.

The most famous stories that Jesus told such as the "The Good Samaritan" and "The Prodigal Son" are to a large extent about people travelling. Some through providence are interrupted on their journey and are used by God to be a neighbour to others. Others are running away from home, believing that the temporary pleasures that the world out there offers can give meaning to their lives. Sometimes it's only when they hit rock bottom, with no where to go that they realize that all that's left is home.... in the embrace of their Creator, the loving arms of God, their heavenly father.

Travel is sometimes used as a metaphor for life. These days it's almost passe to say that life is a journey. Laozi, the famous Chinese philosopher, is supposed to have said, "The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step."

My fondest memories of my childhood are those of us travelling up and down the Malaysian Peninsular. Three of us (my sister, brother and I) piled on to the back of the Daihatsu Charade hatchback sleeping, talking and fighting for our allotment of meagre space. The one and only time we went camping as a family, it rained like cats and dogs. Not surprising when one holidays during the monsoon season. We woke up in the middle of the night with our hair drenched and found ourselves stuck behind a queue of cars on our way home due to flooding. We slept in the car, waiting with dozens of other cars for the water to recede. It probably wasn't my mother's idea of a good time and everything didn't quite go as planned but to this day I recall this blip on my childhood radar with great fondness. I believe I was about 7.

It seems to me that when we travel with our children, we create memories for ourselves as we watch them grow and change but more importantly, for them by the activity of travelling, we help create memories that will stay with them throughout their lives. When we travel as families, we remind them that they belong somewhere in this great big universe. Travelling isn't just about going from A to B... but about family times. About doing things together, learning from each other and learning about each other.

1 comment:

  1. It's so true that lasting memories are created through families travelling together. It's not always enjoyable (!) but it's a great time to bond and share special moments away from the busy-ness of everyday life.


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