Travelling, like writing, has become another method of ‘release’ for me, especially lately. I have found that the best parts of me show when I am being challenged, driven and connected to places or people that have gone before me. Finding moments or activities in this world that bring us to life, is becoming more and more essential. We live in a world that constantly demands our attention. It is difficult to really see the world we live in. We are distracted by the labels and covers that demand our focus.
Traveling to a place where you have never been is exciting because you notice what the locals don’t see. I love it when I take people around Melbourne for the first time, because everything is new and exciting and not spoilt by familiarity. Currently I am in Edinburgh, and I am often excited like a school girl at what I am learning. Walking into churches here, where people like John Knox and Mary, Queen of Scots have been, is like walking into a museum. Places like the castle, where real swords and chapels built in the 1100s stand. Seeing things with child like eyes, reminds me of what it might mean to come to the Father with child like faith. What if I came to the Father everytime with the same amount of excitement that I had walking into the castle atop the hill? I wrote some of these thoughts down while sitting atop Arthurs seat (very different to the one with have down the peninsula at home, but similar- without the tree cover!). I sat on a rock that has stood there hundreds of years, just admiring the wonderful creation of our Lord. So often I come to the Father tired and worn, with cobwebs around my heart. I’ve ‘done’ this Christian thing for so long, it’s become too familiar. Yet here I was, soaking in the beauty and the history of this city, remembering who God is. A God who never let death be the ending to the story; a God who created a world, for me to live in. My very existence is a miracle, that’s enough to come to the Father as if you were meeting for the first time, excited and alive.
Traveling not only allows you to see places you’ve only read about, it challenges me to find God everywhere I go. Does His love and call for Kingdom come apply as much to the people here, as it does at home? Is what He is staying to the church in Melbourne apply to His church in Edinburgh, or London, or Paris? (The answer simply is, ABSOLUTELY!)
Currently I am travelling solo, which adds another dimension of perspective to my trip. As a young woman, I was apprehensive and unsure about the idea. Mostly because I hadn’t felt brave recently. But then an amazing truth resonated within me: the Lord your God will be with you, wherever you go. When the power and the work of Jesus is in you, then we are free, free indeed. What can man do to me? A street performer kindly asked me yesterday why I was travelling solo, I simply replied “why not?!”
One of the best moments, apart from so much peace and clarity and understanding that I have found in travelling solo, is that in these moments, you can learn to write your own story. I have followed the story of Mary Stuart, the Jacobites, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Flora MacDonald, John Knox and the church all throughout Scotland. And in learning their stories, I have found more of my own. I turn tweny four this weekend, brave, redeemed, very much alive and safe, and importantly free. Free to live, free to vote, free to worship. Free to be me in a constantly changing world.
So, get out there! Push your own boundaries. Meet people, hear their stories and write your own. Because God is all around us, He is bigger that your circumstance and the hope of His story is relevant to all people in all nations. Remember importantly, Our successes in life aren’t measured by what our achievements are, but in the relationships we make along the way.
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, let me say this. The more I travel, the larger my God becomes, because I meet a part of him in every person I meet.
Write your own story, and remind yourself what it feels like to see something for the first time.