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2011 December 07 — The Meaningful Traveler

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Laughing with God

by Steve Brock on December 7, 2011

I recently heard this song by Regina Spektor:

It’s not a new song, but it was to me. It stopped me in my tracks when I first listened to it because of its profound truth.

We can be so cavalier about God when everything is going well, but when life starts to fall apart, we take our situations and our view of God more seriously.

The same is true with travel. So many people travel as if on vacation from God rather than on vacation with God. We turn to God when we lose our passports or luggage. We pray when we arrive in a new city without a reservation and all the hotel rooms are booked. And just as they say there are no athiests in a foxhole, I suspect the level of faith dramatically rockets upward in an airplane that is heading the opposite direction.

We don’t laugh at God when we perceive that we need him. But travel makes it so easy to forget that need. Unless you’re heading way off of the usual tourists routes (where the reality of daily life for the majority of the world’s population confronts you with how differently we live), travel today is a pretty comfy affair. Yet I believe it can be made even more enjoyable – and meaningful – when we invite God to join us on our trips not just in the crisis moments but in the good ones as well.

That seems like an odd thought to many: why would God care about our fun? But I believe he cares about every aspect of our lives. So the next time you’re traveling, consider the choices: forget about God and perhaps even laugh at him, or include him and seek him even in the fun times, in all of your travels.

When you do the latter, you encounter moments that are so wondrous they become transcendent. You look on a scene or have a meal or meet someone new and you just want to smile. Or even more, you want to laugh out loud with gladness. And the only thing that makes that moment even better is to know that you’re not laughing alone. At that moment of greatest delight, you improve the experience by realizing that you share it with the One who made it all possible.

You’re laughing with God.

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