(a Theology of Travel, Part 2)
The world is beautiful and amazing. It teaches us about God. The people in it fascinate, and since they are made His image, each one bears a different lesson for us. If you wallpaper your heart with maps and groan that checking off your bucket list would require an eternity, take heart and read on.
The World Is Full of the Image of God
Or, I should say, images.
Because humankind uniquely bears the image of God, only through a proper view of all of humankind can we hope to glimpse the full scope of His attributes.
Imagine. Billions of shards of broken humanity coming together to present the imago Dei.
Shards is a proper term. The image we bear is imperfect: sharp and broken and smashed by sin.
But God takes broken bits of humanity and redeems them into the eternal mosaic of His glory.
Though not until heaven will we absorb the breadth of the grand design, through travel we are afforded a glimpse of other segments.
We see them, and they see us.
We are reminded that we're not solitary works of art: we're patchworks of a greater pattern.
Each Trip Bears a Lesson for Us
The lesson might be something we need to learn about ourselves: about our stubbornness or our sheer limitations in accommodating change.
Traveling solo teaches us some things.
Traveling in groups teaches us others.
We learn that our way of life is not the only way; nor is it the way that even makes the most sense.
We are reminded of what matters and of what doesn't.
We learn to recognize that companionship makes nearly everything bearable and that we should lament the weakening weave of family and friendship in the West.
We are reminded that as natural creation reflects the glory of God's majesty, so man-made creations further demonstrate the image of God in man.
Although man cannot create out of nothing, he can create, and these lesser wonders reflect God's glory as the moon reflects the sun.
So get out there.
Enjoy the common ground. Wonder at the differences.
Witness God's mosaic.
Contemplate the sprawl of the unfamiliar while remembering that none of it is unfamiliar to God, because He is intimately active everywhere.
Delight yourself in knowing that you're part of something much greater and more important than your own single shard.
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In case you missed it: In Defense of Wanderlust, Part 1: The World Is Beautiful and Amazing