Yesterday three people told me they were traveling to Ohio this weekend (which made the Michigander in me proud of their missionary zeal). It also reminded me that we are in the travel season and it may be time for “Pastor Rob’s Handy Dandy Travel Tips”. The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about modern transportation (although the old joke is that the disciples were in “one accord” for you Honda fans). While these tips might not rival the auto club in notoriety or even usage, they may come in handy for those traveling in the days ahead. So fasten your seat belt (literally) and listen up:
1) Remember to pray before the journey. Our family prayer always included something about no accidents, no car troubles and no speeding tickets (ahem… that last one takes divine intervention, a radar detector, and/or a less than heavy foot).
2) Always pack plenty of patience. Cars are small. Space is limited. There’s never enough elbow room. Everyone gets cranky when fueled by fast food and Skittles. So patience on the trip is an important item to take along. Do you remember Paul’s words in the love chapter (“Love is patient and kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:4)? I think those words are in effect even when traveling in a subcompact beater on I-70 in a traffic jam outside of St. Louie. Speaking of St. Louie…
3) Include a sense of humor on the trip. Last Christmas Eve our family left right after the service and headed for Michigan. You might recall that there was a pretty good blizzard happening in Kansas City last Christmas Eve, so we didn’t get nearly as far as I had hoped. In fact, we only traveled to this side of St. Louis when we had to stop for the night. It was cold, snowy, and late. I went into a Days Inn Motel and announced to the desk clerk that my name was Joseph; Mary was outside and was wondering if there was any room in the inn. After managing to stretch this three hour drive into six hours because of the snowy and blizzardy road conditions, I thought that was some very funny Christmas Eve humor. Apparently the desk clerk did not. Maybe he had another religion, maybe he was not happy about working on Christmas Eve, or it could be that he was cranky about his working conditions. (The original Mary and Joseph slept in a barn, this motel smelled like one.) In any event, he was not amused. Whether there was room at the inn or not, we didn’t wait around to see. The stable-like aroma convinced us to stay at the Comfort Inn instead.
4) Take a few moments along the way for family devotions. Don’t just move from one DVD to the next or have the kids in the backseat tuned out completely to the world and in “iPod la la land”. Take a few moments to read from the Bible together and pray together as a family. (Driver, you have permission to keep your eyes open during the prayer or you might be having your conversation with Jesus face to face.)
5) Remember, it’s the Thanksgiving Season, so be thankful. Be thankful for the ability to travel; thankful for the ability to see family and friends; thankful for the ability to move and breathe and enjoy life... we have much for which we can be thankful.
6) Take Jesus with you. Wherever you go; whatever your destination; make sure that Jesus is with you. Your family and friends need to see Jesus in you. Make sure you don’t leave Jesus in Kansas when you travel, but take him with you so that you may say as Paul did in Romans 15: “Pray that I may be kept safe….so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all.” (Romans 15:31-32)
If traveling from the area in the next week; be safe, enjoy, and bear Christ in all you do!