It’s holiday travel time in the USA and beyond. Over the past weeks of summer multiplied millions of Americans have made their annual vacation treks and family getaways. Starting with our Memorial Day weekend, continuing with the long Independence Day weekend and regularly scheduled vacation breaks, we’ve been “road trippin.”
By Grant McClung
For most Americans, traveling and moving about has become a way of life. Transiton, mobility, nomadic lifestyles, and career changes are a part of our society’s landscape. Already twenty years ago, sociologists were estimating that the average American family would move some six to eight times in its existence. An IBM manager was overheard bemoaning yet another job transfer, “IBM doesn’t mean International Business Machines,” he complained. “It means, ‘I’ve been moved!'”
Whether you are traveling for a brief getaway or annual vacation, or you find yourself transitioning in the larger journey of life, here are some practical ways to live a “traveling faith” on the road: (1) travel light; (2) shed some light; (3) keep things tight; (4) watch for a fight; and (5) don’t be trite.
(1) Travel light – My wife, Janice, and I laugh as we reminisce about the excess baggage we lugged all over Europe on our first trip there in 1976. After that, we found hope in the motto for the next trip: “Take half as much luggage, and twice as much money!” Since then, finding a way to “travel light” has been an ongoing challenge. Scripture urges Christ followers toward upward bound affections, avoiding the weight of besetting “baggage” (Colossians 3.2; Hebrews 12.1).
(2) Shed some light – we road trip our faith as “children of light” (Ephesians 5.8) and are commmissioned to “let your light shine before men” (Matthew 5.16). The journey doesn’t have to be so rushed that we cannot share a word of evangelistic testimony, a gospel tract (with a good tip!) to a restaurant server, or come alongside someone who is hurting.
(3) Keep things tight – in your daily relationship with the Lord and with one another in the family. Carefully guard your devotional time in scripture and prayer, and your intimate relationship with loved ones. Stay in love and “keep yourselves in God’s love…” (Jude 20).
(4) Watch for a fight – the enemy of our soul doesn’t take a vacation. As we journey, we are urged to be alert and resist the Devil (1 Peter 5.8). Be warned, yet encouraged, with the call from James 4.7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
(5) Don’t be trite – ours is an age of superficiality and our society is amusing itself to death with cultural idols, celebrity cults, meaningless reality TV shows, and endless blabber chat in cyberspace. Do we really have to post and tweet every mindless detail of our day? Look for God’s call to something greater than yourself and give yourself completely to His grand purposes for you! Vacation time may be a good “Selah” moment to “pause, and reflect on that.”
Ours is a faith for the road of life – built to fulfill a mission on the move with the God of mission. Whether on a summer trip or the larger journey of life: stay simple (travel light); share your faith (shed some light); seek a closer walk (keep things tight); stay alert (watch for a fight); and seek significance (don’t be trite). Travel on!
Grant McClung, President of Missions Resource Group (MissionsResourceGroup.org), is an International Missionary Educator with Church of God World Missions and Missiological Advisor to the World Missions Commission of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.