March 10, 2014 was an important day for me. It was the day that marked the end of my first holiday to Australia. I had had a wonderful time and had seen so much. I had spent some time in Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs, and the Whitsunday Islands. I had walked around the base of Uluru. I learned painfully how strong the sun can be on unprotected tops of my feet. And I had come to know something of Australian culture and knew that it was place that I wanted to return to someday. The fact that the airline had some staffing problems and I got to spend an extra 9 hours here was just fine with me. Getting home to a blizzard was not fun, but still I had my memories of a great trip.
Travelling. I enjoy travelling. Oh sure, like my 9 hour delay and sunburnt feet, there are some problems that can occur when you venture out from home. Yes it is not fun waiting on airlines, sitting on planes for hours, meals that are not quite up to par, and there is the occasional dodgy hotel room. However, I always find that I learn so much when I travel. There are new customs, new traditions, new museums, new sights to see. It is always wonderful to get back home again, but I always find that I am enriched by my journeys. I am willing to put up with the occasional glitch in order to see somewhere new.
Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy home. Home is where I feel safe and secure. Home is where people love you. However, when I travel, I come home appreciating some of the things at home even more. Maybe in my journeying, I come home with ideas of how to improve things at home. It is nice to travel; it is also nice to be home.
Travelling. I am sure that the disciples and Jesus discovered much about each other as they traversed the countryside. For three years they had met new people, preached good news, performed miracles, and journeyed together. I am sure they learned a lot about the people they met, learned about the Kingdom of God, learned about each other, and learned about Jesus.
We are approaching a time in the church year when we think about Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. We know some of the obstacles they faced: opposition from the authorities, people who didn't quite believe the good news, arguments among themselves, debates with the Pharisees, and Jesus' ultimate death. However, the disciples also discovered the meaning of Christ's ministry, the power of love, and that death could be vanquished. As we journey with them, may we feel enriched by the experience and grow in our understandings of God. May we appreciate home but be willing to journey on in faith. Blessings.