To the East and the West
It’s been a while since Janet and I have really gone on a trip. I don’t mean to Alabama or New York – I mean to one of those places where we normally wouldn’t go – somewhere more exotic. It wasn’t more than six or seven years ago that Janet and I really started to travel, and we haven’t been on a cruise in almost 2 years. We’ve been to England, the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska and also to the Greek Isles, one of our favorite destinations. I’m sure that someday we will do that one again – but nothing recently and to be sure, cruises are our favorite way to travel.
Lately, Janet has been starting to think about where she would like to go for our 40th anniversary; that’s coming up this Aug 24th. One of the places that we would really like to visit is Hawaii. We have never been there and from what I can tell, we are about the only ones on the face of the planet who have not been out to the Pacific to visit this seemingly tropical state. Back when we lived in Inverness, IL many years ago, our neighbor across the street was a senior level executive with United Airlines. Back when he could travel in the cockpit with the pilots and navigator, he would travel to Hawaii 15 or more times per year. He absolutely loved it. They weren’t long trips. Four days or so, but he would pack his overnight bag and head out to O’Hare airport and hop a flight to Honolulu.
We really appreciated our neighbor. He was a great guy; so much so in fact that we named our son, Andrew, after him. To this day, we have fond recollections of the “original” Andy and his wife – great folks who were very good friends of ours, as neighbors, for years. That must have been when our first desire to see Hawaii started. That would have been back in 1981 or so – more than 30 years ago.
We are also thinking of going on a river cruise in Europe next spring. We have never done that and would like to see some of the smaller cities along some of the great rivers of Europe. We’ve done the Paris thing and the London thing – but we’re looking for something entirely different – including visiting some historical site such as one of the concentration camps from WWII. It’s kind of like going to Pearl Harbor for us. A must see event – and even though both of these places were locations of great tragedies, we feel a strong urge to visit and pay our respects to those who gave their lives in these locations.
You can probably tell from my writing this evening that I am thinking about getting away for a little while. In fact, rather than try to figure all this stuff out on our own, Janet has finally convinced me to engage the services of a travel agent. I never really ever thought this way. After all, how difficult can it be to make your own reservations? But you know what? When you travel as much as I do, and you have other things on your mind, it sure is nice to have a professional who knows exactly what to do when you have to get to a specific destination. I booked my first two business trips with her this evening – and I couldn’t be happier. When all my current work stuff is finished and the pressure is off, I will be anxious to get away. We even have the chance to go to Tahiti this November, but I don’t think that Janet wants to be gone over Thanksgiving. Generally, I am a home body as well, but in this case, I could probably make an exception. One thing is for sure – it would be much easier with a travel agent working on our behalf.
Anyway, if you know me at all, you can probably guess the verse for tonight. Because so many of the places that we have been throughout the years are filled with people who don’t know the Lord. I can’t help but be reminded of the Great Commission that Jesus commanded us to follow. In Matthew 28:16-20, we are told, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My encouragement this evening is that wherever you are in the world, God has a desire to have a deep relationship with you. And even if you go somewhere that doesn’t have a strong Godly influence, remember that God is always with you. My prayer is that you will do your part, to be grateful that Christ entered your life and to make sure that you do everything you can to help urge people into the kingdom. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…