“And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”Luke 2:16, 20
I could count on one hand the number of Christmas mornings I’ve spent at home. Every year since I can remember, we have loaded up the car and driven to spend the holiday with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Maybe that’s where my travel addiction came from. There’s something about leaving our routine and visiting a different place that helps us see and discover life in new ways. In our routine, we are about business—faces buried in phones, calendars and alarms set, responsibilities and to do lists weighing heavy. But when we travel, we break routine and intentionally look up to experience something different.
One person put it this way: “Travelling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” I would argue that traveling—saying yes to God when He tells us to journey with Him—can and will leave us speechless and turns us into storytellers of His goodness. I would even argue that traveling with God and to God leaves us changed. The truth is, part of being in relationship with Him is consistently and persistently leaving our comfort zone “to go to the land I will show you,” as God tells Abraham in Genesis 12:1. Sometimes that land is literal. Sometimes it is mental, emotional, or spiritual. But Jesus constantly calls us to go.
In fact, every major player in the Christmas story is called to leave their “land” and go to the place God will show them. Mary and Joseph left their home to journey to Bethlehem, the city of David, where Messiah was prophesied to be born (Luke 2:4-7). The shepherds left their work in the fields to visit Jesus (Luke 2:15-18). The wise men left their home in the east to seek the Christ child (Matthew 2:1-2). Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt to protect Jesus from Herod until it was time to return to their home (Matthew 2:13-15).
Isn’t it interesting that in each of these circumstances, leaving their comfort zone resulted in meeting Jesus in a greater way? Jesus was at the end of every journey out of familiar territory. He’s at the end of our travels. And every Christmas when I left my home to celebrate elsewhere, He was there waiting with something to teach me at the end of my routine and comfort zone.
This Christmas and wherever life takes you, I pray you experience Jesus in a new way. I pray your journey to Him leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller—a storyteller of the God who loved us enough to send us His Son.