“If I can just get through this week and go on that trip, I will be FINE.”
How many times have you said or thought that? Because I have about 100 times.
I love traveling – I mean LOVE it. I’d hop on an airplane once a week and go experience a new place if I could. I don’t want to go ride RV’s through forests or walk across bridges or do the number one touristy thing in that city — I want to see the people and eat the food and live the life of the locals. It seriously fires me up and makes me come alive.
And I know I’m not alone, especially not in 2019. Traveling is THE thing. I was in a church small group a few weeks ago when we went around the room and said what we’d do if we had endless amounts of money. All the answers were different, but EVERY woman said she’d travel more. It’s invigorating and addictive and really does fulfill so many of our desires that God has put in is.
But it does NOT save your soul. Only God can do that.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6 (NIV)
He said to go unto all the world and preach the gospel — that means overseas AND in your backyard. But he did not say, “Go on as many trips as you can to set your soul free!”
I think traveling is one of those things that gets put in the “good not God” category. It feels like we can’t do too much of it, like we will never get enough. Because we won’t. It will never be enough. With each trip, we crave another. With every skymile, I want more. It satisfies me for a week or two, and then I’m saving up to book the next trip.
Airports and hotels are on my list of favorite things. I think I love them partially because they make me slow down and rest, but I also know I love them because I’m a runner. I love to escape my every day, ordinary life and go pretend to live another life.
I’m going to say it one more time — Traveling is NOT bad and it is one of my favorite things in the world. I think it’s a way for us to see more of God’s creation and more of God’s people. But when it starts becoming our savior, our escape, our fulfillment — then it becomes an idol. Anything that begin to act as a god in our lives can become an idol — food, shopping, sex, money, drugs, pedicures…. Anything.
In the social media-driven world we live in, we have access to see every single person’s travels and trips and it starts to seem like they’re going everywhere while we’re going nowhere. And that’s just not true. Even if you never hop on another airplane, you’re going somewhere. God has a plan for you that may include you sharing his name all over your state instead of all over the country. Or maybe he wants you to go to 17 other countries! OR maybe he wants you to support a missionary living in Indonesia. I honestly do not know and encourage you to really seek answers from Him through prayer about what He wants from you.
Just please don’t get caught up in buying plane tickets and checking off bucket lists to fill a void that only God can fill. I have to pray and speak that over my life more often than I’d like to admit, and I want to speak it over yours too. You are more than where you’ve been or what you have — You are worth the love of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth all because He says so. Stop trying to prove your worth to Him, to others, or even to yourself.
Enjoy the next trip you take, whether it’s a tropical island or weekend getaway two hours away, but don’t think for one second that it will save your soul.
Stop scrolling and wishing you were somewhere else. Be where your feet are and be firmly planted in Him.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither– whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3 (NIV)
Stop trying to escape the life God is begging you to explore. He gave it to you for a reason — use it.
Don’t stop traveling. I know I won’t. But don’t forget that God can fulfill you more than any trip ever could.