Traveling with an Eternal Perspective
I had the blessing and the privilege of visiting Europe, specifically Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, with a friend (Ann W. ) in honor of my 60th birthday. It was an amazing trip with good food, plenty of adventure, and a great friend. We averaged 11 1/2 miles walking every day (yes my knees survived, even if they were not happy about it) and we saw places I never thought I would see in real life. Many people travel so perhaps my trip was just another one like everyone else’s, with one exception! It was mine – Ann and I created memories and bonded over our own adventure choices and sights.
One thing I thought about while traveling is that it really is like our relationship with God! Everyday, where ever we go, we have this traveling companion (Jesus) who goes with us and who we lean on and talk to and who knows what we like and does it with us.
As the 2 weeks went by we saw so many beautiful sights from mountains to rivers and waterfalls, from antique treasures to beautiful expressions of art, from cathedrals to chapels, from fortresses to expansive countryside vistas. It was all so stunning and photo- worthy. As I took it all in and marveled at God’s handiwork and man’s creativity, I was struck with the reality that all this is temporary! Even more, the beauty and wonder of heaven is going to be better than all the amazing sights and sounds we will ever experience in this life. Wow! It takes my breath away when I realize that my future in eternity is beyond anything I can ever imagine. Sculptures by Michaelangelo is like preschool playdough and masterpieces by Da Vinci are like kindergarten coloring pages by comparison to what is to come. I am overwhelmed by the gorgeous world I have experienced and in many ways this trip was worshipful, yet it is only a glimpse of what is coming!
In the words of Karl Barth, worship is “the most momentous, the most urgent, the most glorious action that can take place in human life.” That’s because it gets us ready for what’s to come.
There are people all over this planet. Many who have suffered. Many in need. All broken and wounded and in need of the Savior’s love. I found myself praying for God’s grace and the reality of His love and forgiveness to be made known. It is weird to be in a place where the most visible buildings are churches and yet they are only full of tourists who don’t see or hear the whispers of the God they were created for. I gained a renewed commitment to praying for and supporting those who are called to cross a culture to spread the best news in all the world — that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save sinners by dying in our place and rising again. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Because I have tasted the joy of worshiping Jesus, I found myself aching for all those not yet included, to wake up and consider the purpose of the monuments, the art and buildings they are seeing; that they would see, hear, understand and respond to the gospel.