The LifeWay Christian Resources VBS (vacation Bible school) theme for 2015 is “Journey Off the Map.” The theme captures the heart of adventure, unchartered territories, unknown places and dangerous challenges. I have been on the road with LifeWay the last couple weeks and have loved challenging leaders about what it means to follow God on a journey into the unknown.
The theme has got me thinking. What is it about human nature that loves a good journey? Why are we drawn to adventure novels, movies and stories? Why do little boys and girls love to pretend to find hidden treasures in the backyard that can only be discovered with an ancient map?
Apparently God has implanted the desire for journey into our soul.
As I look back on my life, I have been on some great journeys. They may not seem great to Mt. Everest climbers or Appalachian Trail trekkers, but they have been amazing journeys for me.
Short-term international mission trips have been a journey. Places like the Sinai desert of Egypt, the ancient city of Xian, China, all through rugged Latin America and modernized Europe.
The chance to go on three Bible land tours has been a journey. Walking where Jesus, Peter, Paul, Luke, Timothy, Titus walked has been a real adventure.
Leaving my home in KY and moving to Dallas/Fort Worth for seminary was a huge journey. Saying good-bye to the familiarity and comfort of the Bluegrass state in lieu of full dependence on God and willingness to do whatever He called me to do in the Lone Star state. Looking back, that journey was really hard but ABSOLUTELY worth every minute. Without leaving, I don’t believe I would have grown as much as I did.
There have been more relational journeys that have been just as adventurous. Marriage has been a wild journey. Standing with and loving my wife of nearly 13 years has been a journey into uncharted waters. Parenting two sons has been a great journey. Watching them grow, learn, explore has been filled with adventure, and at times, chaos.
Teaching and walking alongside college students has been a glorious journey. Seeing them walk into college fresh, eager, green and hopefully leaving more matures equipped, discipled, trained and properly launched.
There is one student, in particular, that has been a journey to say the least. From his entrance into our lives four years ago to his recent exit, he has completely transformed. There is still more for God to do, but the difference is radical.
I love the journey. I love the adventure into the unknown. I love letting God Almighty set the course and take me and my family anywhere He wants us to go. I wonder what journeys lie ahead.