By Kelly Carr
Some of my favorite memories are taking family vacations. I can recall trips to the beach and Disney World when I was a kid and then trips to the beach and Disney World I’ve taken as a parent with my own child. There are familiar places I’ve gone many times, like the Smoky Mountains. There are cities I’ve only explored once but hope to see again, such as New York City and San Francisco. And there are once-in-a-lifetime adventures to other countries that I will never forget.
But the thing that warms my heart most about these trips is that I spent quality time with people I love.
A Lifetime Trek
The concept of biblical discipleship could be thought of in the metaphor of a trip. When we decide to follow Jesus, that’s just the beginning of the adventure. A lifetime trek is ahead, filled with growth and drawing closer to our Lord.
Jesus demonstrated discipleship with his own band of followers. He dedicated three years to traveling and spending time together, teaching them about God and modeling the Father’s truth and love. Talk about the trip of a lifetime for those guys!
Just as I discovered the joy of growing closer to my loved ones on my trips, God desires that we draw near to him on our spiritual journey. He doesn’t want us to decide to follow him but then stay put. He wants us to follow! The paths he takes us on are often nothing like we imagined, yet we become more like him because of the journey.
I Want to Remember
While traveling, I love to take photos (or have the more more-skilled photographers in my family take photos for me!) and jot down thoughts and experiences at the end of each day. I’m a little obsessive about these two things. I want to diligently record the details so that I will never forget the great time I had. I want to remember each discovery I made about life and God and the people around me.
Thinking about the traveling metaphor again, consider your own journey of discipleship:
• What mental snapshots of your journey stick out the most to you? Perhaps the mountaintop moments when you reached a new level of growth. Perhaps trip-ups when you lost your way but found new depths of God’s grace.
• What details have you jotted down (physically or mentally) to remind you of what you’ve experienced on your walk with Christ? Take a trip down memory lane and thank God for these lessons learned.
• Who has been on this trip with you? What mentors have given you guidance and encouraged you to grow? Who has been by your side, walking along as a fellow disciple?
No matter where I’ve traveled, I feel as if a piece of the destination stays with me when I leave. In a greater way, I desire that my life journey with Jesus will always keep changing me and forming me into someone better than I was when I began.