Coming off the holiday season, many of you reading this probably traveled to be with your families for the holidays. Some may have gone across town and some across the country. Travel can be exciting and also daunting. For us, traveling from Kenya to the United States and then from the United States back to Kenya can seem long, but the reward for the journey is so worth it. In America, I grew up hearing people use the word “safari” when describing trips to the Masai Mara or other national parks where you find the lions, elephants, rhinos, and other animals that paints of picture of traditional Kenya for many. However, in Swahili the word “safari” merely means journey. It is used to describe any travel and not just used to describe viewing of native animals.
As we traveled back this time, I thought about the context of “safariing” or journeying in our lives. We travel or journey in life from season to season. Seasons of grief that we wish we could take a high speed train out to the next season and seasons of joy that we wish would last a little longer. Through the last two and a half years, we have done extensive travel through Kenya and spent countless hours in airports and on airplanes, riding in buses and cars.
What do I have to show for my journey? Did I travel well? When I look at instances in the Bible of journeying, I am reminded of the peaks and valleys that come in every season of life. We can look at the journey of the Israelites. They were freed from captivity and began a journey to the promised land. Along the way, however, they became distracted and forgot the purpose of their journey. They became complacent and complaining. Do I do this?
Other journeys like that of Ruth and Naomi display a beautiful picture of what it means to persevere and trust that He is in control. Ruth left the comforts of a culture she knew, her family, everything familiar to be with Naomi and serve God alongside her. Am I willing to do this? Do I want to do this?
The ultimate picture of journeying in the Bible is that of the life of Jesus. He humbled himself, came to earth, and became a human. We use that phrase often in church culture, to humble oneself. What does it even mean, to humble oneself? How does this relate to his journey? According to Google, humility is “the act of a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.1” The antonym being pride. Jesus humbled himself, made himself low for his journey of life. He began his life in a manger, grew up the son of a carpenter, and then became a teacher, healer, and savior. To our knowledge he never owned a home or really had many possessions. However, he journeyed for the last three years of his life. He went from town to town preaching the good news, salvation to all who believe. He ate with people who were unlike him, he loved those who were hard to love, and he met with those who were lost in the journey of life.
Like the picture Jesus painted, humility allows us to journey well. It allows us to regard others before we regard ourselves. The picture of the journey is made perfect in Jesus. As Christians, or Christ followers, our journey here on earth is to share the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ to all in need of a Savior. That can be your next door neighbor, your coworker, or even a friend at church. It does require effort as any journey does. It requires diligence and a willingness to press on toward the goal. As you journey through this new year, through seasons of want and seasons of plenty, seasons of loss and seasons of life, remember the journey. Remember the purpose of the journey. Remember the end goal of the journey: That all may come to know him. That is his heartbeat. His wish for every season of our lives. Be blessed in this New Year.
1 Timothy 2:4-6 “[God] who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
- Definition of humility: https://www.google.com/#q=humility