Travel On

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land that I will show you.’”—Genesis 12:1

Giant Geyser 1 (v) crDo you like to travel?  I do.  I know there are some people who have no desire to leave the area they live in but my life has been incredibly enriched by the travels I’ve made over the years.  I see much value in going other places.  You can, no doubt, learn much in books or by watching television but for me there is no substitute for travel.  A few days ago I did a presentation on the beauty of the area where I am currently living.  As I put the show together I found myself thinking that a person residing here doesn’t have to go far to find beauty.  I even commented to a group that I’m surprised more people don’t travel here to view or photograph the beauty that is all around us.  But that doesn’t mean I am or should be content with seeing or experiencing what is found only in my local area.

Kenai glacier calvingTomorrow I’m flying out to Los Angeles to meet up with Rob.  We will spend a good part of the upcoming week exploring an area of Nevada neither of us have visited before.  I know very little about the places we will be going to but I have no doubt that I will learn much in the days to come.  I will see and do things I could not if I stayed home.  The journey will broaden who I am.  It will allow me to experience aspects of God’s Creation that are not available to me here where I live.

Mark Twain once said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”  There is much truth in these words.  In my travels to Europe and the Middle East as a young adult  I had my eyes opened to a number of things that challenged my own prejudices, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.  When I spent some time a few years ago on a medical mission trip to Haiti the same thing happened again.

whitetail fawn 6 (h) crMy travels throughout North America to photograph its scenic wonders have, likewise, caused my mind and understanding of things to be altered time and time again.  There is more than one kind of prejudice, bigotry  and narrow-mindedness.  For example, I once thought of deserts as vast wastelands.  I now see them as marvelous and magical places where life abounds.  By visiting other areas and seeing new places and things I have come to appreciate much that I once did not like or understand.  In numerous ways my life is richer because I have traveled as much as I have.

_CES1723I would not be the same person I am today had I not viewed the northern lights and watched glaciers calve in Alaska.  I would not be the same person had I not found myself dwarfed by giant redwoods and sequoias in California.  I would not be the same had I not watched geysers erupt in Yellowstone National Park or heard pounding waves crash against the rugged shores of Maine.  I would not be the same person had I not viewed the simultaneous lift-offs of thousands of snow geese and sandhill cranes in New Mexico or spied on newborn fawns taking their first steps in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park.

I could go on and on.  I believe I am a wiser and better person on many accounts because of the travels I’ve done over the years.  I have even learned much about God that I might never have discovered had I not ventured out beyond the safety of my own home and community.

Throughout the Scriptures it seems like God is always calling someone or another to take a journey.  I think I understand why…

–Chuck

(I took the top image of Giant Geyser in Yellowstone NP, the calving glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, the newborn fawn at Shenandoah National Park, and the redwood trees at Humboldt State Park in California.)