Today’s Reading: Psalm 16:11
I love to travel, to experience new places and cultures. It brings me such great joy. Yet sometimes I’ve found myself wondering if traveling is frivolous. Maybe it’s my Midwestern upbringing where wasting resources like money and time is practically a crime. Through that lens, traveling isn’t useful. Or perhaps it comes from my nagging sense of Christian duty. Aren’t I called to be making the world a better place? How many people could I help with the money I would use on a vacation? How many lives could be touched with the time I would spend adventuring?
When I shared these thoughts with Pastor Brandon this week, he had a different perspective. He reminded me of the belief throughout Christian history that humanity’s purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever. Joy is part of what we are made for! When we adventure and experience joy, God shares in our joy. And as Pastor Brandon said, “Pure joy that comes from being alive (but that doesn’t desecrate creation or others) is an experience that is holy and sacred. Pure joy is worshipful.” If adventure brings us joy, then adventure, too, can be worshipful; it can give us a glimmer of the divine. It can serve as a way to step out of the mundane routine of our lives and connect with God.
Adventure and travel are not a waste of time. Adventuring for the sake of adventuring is a way to draw near to the one who created us to be adventure-seekers. When we truly experience God and realize our love for God, for the world, and for all of creation, we cannot contain our joy! It bubbles from us and turns us outward to bless others.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.