Put on Your Traveling Shoes – Or Not By Jo Russell

“I’ve been working on a wish list for a vacation. You’ve got one, too,” Betty sang out with enthusiasm as she addressed her husband, Bill. It had been a lay-back day and a great time to plan while they were relaxing at home. “Where have you always wanted to go?”

“I dunno.”

“No idea at all?”

Bill shrugged.

Betty suggested, “What do you think of going to Washington, D.C. and seeing the monuments and George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon?”

“I get The Smithsonian Magazine. I don’t need to go there. I heard the traffic is terrible. My buddy Pete, who’s been all over, told me I wouldn’t like it. It sounds like a lot of walking.”

“What about going to see the Presidents on the cliffs at Mt. Rushmore. That’s pretty close–just a couple of days drive.”

“I’ve seen pictures. Pete told me he’s been there. He said it’s overrated. Just a bunch of boulders. I wouldn’t like it. I don’t need to see it.”

“But what about seeing the mountain in all its grandeur and size in person? It took the artist 25 years to create it.”

“Nope. I’ve seen all I need to see in the pictures. Also, we wouldn’t have to fight to find a parking place.”

“Where else have you always wanted to go? What about the Grand Canyon? That’s really close from here. ”

He rolled his eyes.

“I’ve been there. I don’t need to go again. Pete said he’s been there. I wouldn’t like it.”

By this time, she was ready to wring Pete’s neck, but also her husband’s. “But you haven’t seen it from the North Rim of the Canyon.”

“I’ve seen the Canyon.  Pete says it’s not worth the extra miles. I don’t need to see it from another road.”

Betty thought hard. She was ready to give his buddy a piece of her mind. No matter how short a distance, Bill had vetoed every idea.

“Bill, I guess you’re not going anywhere. I don’t know who would join you on a field trip across the driveway except the ants.”

Bill’s immovable attitude is nothing new.

Inflexible. Immovable. Rigid. Unyielding.

All these are actions that directly oppose God’s work and plan today as in ancient times.

God’s plan often propels one into the unknown. But when he does this, he is an expert guide and always with us.

Here are the Lord’s words to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” [Genesis 12:1]  God promised that Abram would become a great nation. This was about four thousand years ago. But God keeps his promises then and now.

Abram’s wasn’t just a trip across the driveway or the neighborhood. Abram, Sarai and Lot traveled a journey of some 800 miles from Ur to Haran and eventually to Shechem near Jerusalem. He followed the rivers rather than cross a vast, dry desert. There is a good chance when they left, the three and their servants would have never again seen their parents or family members left behind. Ahead was an unknown, new world. God lead them there.

But the important thing that Abram did was to obey God’s request.

God commanded Moses was to lead his people out of Egypt into the desert. They put on their traveling shoes and learned to depend on God for every need, from protection from enemies, water and food to safe areas as campsites.

When Prophet Isaiah experienced a vision and insight from God about 700 B.C., he felt unworthy to see the Almighty, as well as to speak with him. Angels purified his lips and speech. That’s when God asked, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  [Isaiah 6:8]

And Isaiah answered, “Here I am. Send me!”

He volunteered for the job without knowing the job description. It wasn’t a five minute job. But he was willing and it came down to obedience to God.

God had asked him to give his people a message they would ignore. He told Isaiah to keep telling them, “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitant, until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken And though a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.” [Isaiah 6:11-13]  [Terebinth is a large, spreading tree. No good English translation].

This divine warning came before the people were conquered and the best of them taken into captivity and to Babylon. The tenth refers to the remnant who remained faithful to God.

Is God asking you to put on your traveling shoes and head into the unknown?  Have courage. Trust God. He will help you all along the way. That may include finding a parking place if that’s what you need.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]