TRAVEL THERE: GOD’S ATTRACTIONS HAVE BECOME MY FAVORITE
“God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31 NAS
I’ve been planning a vacation. In fact, I leave tomorrow. While planning this trip I noticed a trend in my travel.
When my parents controlled my vacations, I didn’t care where we went. For most of my childhood, I knew we’d be making a beeline to Texas to visit family and there really wasn’t much to consider. Then Dad got transferred back to Texas and we started making more traditional family road trips. Mom was a great trip-planner and I got to just sit back and enjoy her efforts. So ended Phase One.
Phase Two was more about the absence of travel, rather than actual vacations. As a single career girl, keeping myself in pantyhose was a challenge. Finding money to go on vacation was nigh onto impossible. When I did go, it was all about the party. I went to beaches or ski resorts or attended festivals. On TV, in movies and in books, romance and good times were right around the corner, if only I managed to go to the right party.
Prince Charming Arrives
Then my prince came along. I had my storybook romance and dream wedding. After I married, travel got a whole lot more exciting. We took cruises. We visited international locales. We stayed in amazing hotels, ate world class cuisine and saw the attractions all the magazines tell you to visit.
I’ve been to Disneyworld, Disneyland and Dollywood. I visited art museums, historic homes and presidential libraries. I confess I love museums – all museums – but I realized that even though the photographs in my scrapbook might be of me standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids and Buckingham Palace the snapshots I gathered in my head weren’t of man-made attractions.
When I reminisce about my vacations I remember a moody sunset as the cruise boat departed the island of Kauai. I see the massive wind-carved monoliths of Arizona’s Monument Valley. I recall sunlight sparkling on the water as I peeked between green and yellow leaves at Lake Saranac in the Adirondacks. The white sand and blue water of Sharm el Shiek. Seals and otters frolicking on Moonstone Beach in California. In other words, for all the man-made attractions I’d visited, it’s the God-made ones that created the most lasting impressions.
Choosing Oregon as my vacation destination this year was a conscious acknowledgement that I’ve moved past the party to more meaningful encounters. I’ll spend three days in Portland gobbling up art museums and galleries, historic homes and historic sites. I’ll even visit gardens that are a cooperation between man and his Creator, but then I’m on my way to the Creation and that’s what I’m really excited about. Raging rivers, pounding surf, tide pools, snow caps, lakes and waterfalls! Those are the attractions I really want to see.
I’m hoping that my desire to visit the jewels of God’s creation are a sign that I’m maturing in my walk with God. That my desire to escape all things human is an acknowledgement that I know there’s something better. Maybe I’ve come to realize that what God made is very good, even better than what man has made. But I don’t know. What do you think?