One of the best parts of any journey is returning home.
There are a few exceptions. When I’m travelling with family and friends, I sometimes wish the trip would never end – or at least not yet. But more often than not, by the time my plane, train, or automobile is pointed home, I am ready. I am ready to pet my dog, stand in my own shower, sleep in my own bed, be surrounded by things that are known and comfortable.
Most of my trips these days are solo sojourns. If you’ve never travelled by yourself, let me tell you what it’s like. It’s stressful. And the stress is compounded if you’re travelling someplace where you don’t speak the language. You are wholly dependent upon strangers. (Very patient strangers!) You have only yourself and your instincts to know which way to turn, how to find your way out, and how to find your way back.
But the curse of solo travelling is also its blessing. You experience everything around you more deeply. You pay attention more wholly and you interact with people you never would have interacted with. I have had some of the most amazing personal encounters when travelling alone. I have banded together with people who, for a few intense hours or days, became my companions or my guides.
When it comes right down to it, we are all travelling alone. The Bible tells us we are like travelers in a foreign land; our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). We band together through different seasons of life, but we are all trying to make our way home. There are moments when we wish the journey would never end – or at least not yet. And there are other times when we cannot wait to have the worries of this journey behind us, and to breathe a sigh of relief to at last be surrounded by things that are known and comfortable.
True, our Father did not send us on this Journey entirely alone. Jesus promised that when He ascended into heaven He would send the Holy Spirit to be our companion and our guide. It’s not just our instincts that prompt our next steps, but the loving presence of God prodding our conscience, clearing our path, and always watching over us. The strangers we meet along the way are never accidents. They may be strangers to us, but no one is a stranger to God. The Lord watches over the sojourners (Psalm 146:9a).
Where are you on your journey through life? Are you experiencing the thrill of something new? Grasp onto it with both hands. Are you clawing through turmoil, exhaustion, or fear? Keep pushing. Are you pausing, reflecting back or planning forward? Take three breaths in, my friend, and go. This journey isn’t over yet. God has got a thing or two for you to do along the way. Trust in Him. Isn’t that what He told us? “Therefore do not be anxious saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:31-33).
God’s blessings on the new year, as you continue your journey home.
And [Jesus] said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics…” And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere (Luke 9:3,6).