Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘travel’

Thoughts in a Departure Area

Waiting for my flight, I smile as I remember a man in the check-in area carrying a box with holes in it and tail feathers sticking out the end.  Smile

Now I watch passengers going down the jetway just a few yards, then out the side exit and down the stairs to the tarmac.  There, they are offered bright yellow umbrellas for the one-minute walk to the airplane. I should add that it’s a bright, sunny day. 

Another thing I notice is smiling faces, even the guards.  I appreciate that friendly spirit.

Whenever I set out on a trip (even just a short flight), I have to reorient my thinking.  I need to release to the Lord my “need” for security and familiar surroundings and remind myself that He is my Companion, my Guard and my Provider  Nothing’s going to happen that He has not planned already and made provision for.  And I must say, He has never let me down–whether the trip was extra delightful (such as a nice chat with the taxi driver) or more complicated.  Getting out of my nest provides a chance to trust Him in different ways and delight in His company. 

These lines of a song, by Keith Getty, have been running through my mind a lot lately:

May this journey bring a blessing
May I rise on wings of faith
And at the end of my heart’s testing
In Your likeness let me wake.

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“Your home in the sky”

Yesterday as my flight landed, the pilot’s voice came over the PA system saying, “Thank you for flying [name of airline], your home in the sky.” 

Wait a minute!  I might be flying a lot this month, but my home in the sky isn’t an airplane! 

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.  (Hebrews 13:14 NLT)

When I leave or enter a country, I have to fill out forms that list my country of birth, citizenship and my addresses “at home” and “abroad”—whatever that means!  The country of my residence isn’t the same as that of my passport, and that’s different yet from my real citizenship, which is in heaven.  What a comfort that is as this world is in the process of falling apart!

I am reminded of a song sung by Evie Tornquist back in the 70’s which is sounding more and more like what we see on the news.  You can listen to at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQQB26XbWsI:

When the armies of the world have stopped their war
And the game of politics has run its course
No one is around to be a nuclear force
When all is said and done, Christ is Lord

     Christ is Lord, He is Lord forevermore
     Speak his name and worship him alone
     Join the team that is guided from his throne
     For when all is said and done, Christ is Lord

In a very special time and point of history
A man was nailed to Calvary’s tree
He forever changed the course of mankind’s destiny
The Son of God died to set men free

So when the mighty US dollar lost its strength
And it doesn’t pay to trust in francs or yen
Not one banker tries to tell you he’s your friend
Yes, when all is done, Christ is Lord

When your days are done and you must travel on
To the unknown land where you have never gone
Leaving just a tombstone in the setting sun
Yes, when you are finally gone, Christ is Lord!

On a Journey

In the past few hours, I’ve taken a big step into another world—or rather, to the other side of this earth.  Upon entering the first airport, I got this same old feeling of rootlessness.  My feet were no longer planted in the environment where I’d spent the past four months, nor were they set in the world to which I was going.  I was on the journey, and life went on pause.  Nothing seemed real except for the meals, movies, and vain attempts to sleep.   

Lines from a couple of songs express my feeling and remind me of this present journey to my real and eternal Home:

“There is a joy in the journey…”  (by Michael Card)

“And let this journey be my home…”  (from “I Will Go,” by Steve Green and Douglas McKelvey)

On my journey, I am not in control.  I stand in line as instructed, pass through inspections, sit in my assigned seat, endure delays).  On my way to heaven, I am trying to learn gracious submission and flexibility to whatever situations God allows, knowing that it means growth in character and usefulness to Him.

On my journey, there are fellow travelers.  Others are traveling with me to heaven—my brothers and sisters. I need to learn to love and serve them, enjoying the trip together.

My journey has a limit and a destination; it will not last forever.  Whatever frustrations and difficulties I experience in this temporary life will be forgotten as soon as I step into that joyful new world. 

God, give me grace to be sweet, patient, flexible, and useful to You, to make the most of this journey, however long it may be—for Your glory, for the benefit of my fellow travelers, and even for my own sweeter pleasure when I reach my Real Home.

Maranatha!  Come Lord Jesus!

Singing Along the Way

When I was a kid, my family took long road trips halfway across the US to see relatives, camping each night on the way.  My brother’s favorite spot was the “bump” behind the front seat (when that was still legal) where he would stand to spot a picnic table for our lunch and point out other sights along the way like, “Deah’s da Zoobi Wibba!” (‘There’s the Missouri River.’)

1960 July Juntunen clan camping

During our days of riding, we often found ourselves singing—especially songs about the life-is-a-journey metaphor.  I still love those songs because I love metaphors.  Every day the Lord is my traveling companion, and each day is one day closer to the end of the journey when I’ll reach my real Home!  And if I don’t like the place where I have to “camp” along the way, I want to be content knowing that it’s only a temporary stop along the way to my Destination. 

Here are the words to a couple of those songs we sang: 

Just one day nearer Home as shadows of the night descend
Just one day less to roam as fading twilight color blend
Beneath the starry dome I’ll rest beside my Guide and Friend
With each day’s tramping, nightly camping, one day nearer Home! 
                                                                                                    (author unknown)

Over the sunset mountains someday I’ll softly go
Into the arms of Jesus, He who has loved me so…
Toiling will all be ended; shadows will flee away
Sorrow will be forgotten; oh, what a wonderful day!
Over the sunset mountains heaven awaits for me
Over the sunset mountains Jesus my Savior I’ll see. 
                                                                                             John W. Peterson

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