What’s the furthest you’ve ever been away from home? I’m not sure about the exact location for me, but I know the place where I’ve felt furthest from home. I was on a study tour to Tanzania years ago. Our group was travelling down a one-lane road forever, and we stopped for a minute and people got out of the van. It was twilight, so half the sky seemed like the day, and half the sky seemed like the night. The grasslands around us were strikingly beautiful, with tall trees dotting the plains, stretching out to the horizon. I remember looking one way down the road where we’d come from, then looking the other way towards where we were going and having this wave of homesickness flood me. I looked up and even the stars were unfamiliar. I knew in my heart of hearts, “I am a long way from home.”
It’s a big world. “Living Faithfully on God’s Blue Planet” is the theme for our August worship. This Sunday we’ll be talking about how big our world can seem, and what that means for us as Christians. Katie Friesen will be leaving for her Mennonite Central Committee term in Chad next week, so we will be praying for her. Do you have ideas of how we can support Katie in her year away?
Sometimes we feel called by God to leave the familiar and go somewhere new. God is wherever we go, but it can be a rich and unsettling experience to be immersed in a new environment. Is there somewhere new that God is calling you to go? It might not be a distant geographical place. Venturing outside the boundaries of a grudge you’ve been holding could be new territory for you. Starting a new school can seem like a new world, even if it’s close to home. Opening the Bible and reading a book you’ve never read before, can introduce you to a new part of the landscape of God’s love.
This week’s prayer: Open my ears to hear where you are calling me. Let my eyes see the road you’ve laid out. Give me the courage I need to put on my travelling shoes!