I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. (Jesus, as quoted in John 12:46 ESV)
As this series of 30 Days of Lists approaches it’s last few days, I have enjoyed how the prompts challenged me and increased my creative awareness. Today’s prompt was “Vacations to Take,” but instead I thought I would add a twist to that prompt. I want to share how I travel in my imagination.
It was a dream of mine to see the world when I was a teenager. When I left home for the first time at age eighteen, I had never been on an airplane, and the furthest I traveled from home was across the border into Canada to go camping with my family or to drive over to Michigan to visit relatives on holidays. I grew up in rural western New York state.
My first airplane trip took me to San Antonio, Texas for Air Force basic training. My first assignment was at Clark AB in the Philippines. To experience another culture was a great dream come true for me. After that I was stationed in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, where I met my husband. We started our family, and the first year of our oldest son’s life was lived out of boxes moving from training base to training base, ending up in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where our second son was born.
My dream life had become reality. We still get to travel quite a bit, but my first travels were in my imagination, which was fueled by books like Little House on the Prairie. Through Laura’s adventures, I envisioned myself being a pioneer on the prairie. I was an independent girl who lived in a rambling big house and rode her horse to town with Pippi Longstocking. As a young married woman, I was swept up to the Canadian Rockies with Janette Oke’s inspirational fiction series. Time travel came through reading classics like Jane Austen’s books set in 18th century England. When I went back to college in my forties to get my English degree, one of my favorite classes was world literature. We read stories from all over the world. Each narrative revealed that while settings and circumstances were different, each character faced similar problems and emotions as me.
My dream list of places to travel includes Europe, Africa, Israel, Argentina, Alaska and Japan. Although I may never make it to these destinations, I can travel to these places through stories and art. A trip through the world atlas can spark my imagination. I can dip into a foreign language from the comfort of my living room. I can travel back in time to the Russia of the Brother’s Karamazov. I can roam the galleries of our Art Museum to travel through time and place.
My journey of meeting Jesus as a young child through Sunday school classes and VBS took me into the world of Bible stories and exposure to African missionaries who brought back exotic souvenirs. These experiences whetted my appetite to learn more about the world outside my rural community. The light broke into my life through others who loved Jesus. Their faith and love gave me the courage to take the step to join the Air Force, as a naive eighteen year old girl, who wanted to leave home and travel the world.
I took God at His word. I came across this promise in Proverbs 3:5,6:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Jesus has been my trusted companion through all these years. I continue to trust Him to lead me to His next adventure for me, whether it will be abroad or in my living room. His love will enlarge my love for this world that so often feels dark and lonely, no matter where one lives.
What are you dreaming about this summer? How have you trusted Jesus with your life journey?