Travel Mania

The TRAVEL BUG is real. And it’s great! No one ever has complained about having the ‘Travel Bug’.

All the travel adverts capitalise on our urge to be ‘anywhere but here’.

 

I’m sure that we have all, at one time in our lives, been somewhere new.

The anticipation.

Checking the weather app in order to pack the correct clothes. Weighing the cases!

Chatting to others to get their advice about the destination (or just to provoke a little ‘travel envy’!)

Reading up on the destination, looking at the perfect photos, seeing the gloriousness of the new…..

 

I know that bug. Japan. Brazil. Israel. Australia. Thailand. Singapore. Holland. Mongolia…

I bet some of you have ‘travel envy’ just reading these words!

 

Why all this about travel..?

Because Acts 17 is taken up with Paul and his travelling.

 

Paul got to travel!

 

But, I’m not sure he travelled in the way we envision it. I certainly don’t get a smidgen of ‘travel envy’ when I read his travel itinerary.

 

Acts 17:1 “… Paul and Silas arrived at Thessalonica.”

This was not – bags appropriately prepared and packed, ticket in hand, emotions running high, fever pitch excitement – travelitis at its zenith!

Paul had been forced out of Philippi.

No Air BNB booked. No Protea Hotel rooms waiting.

In fact, who knows where Paul and Silas stayed, BUT

 

Acts 17:2 “As they customarily did, they went to the synagogue…”

 

No matter what their circumstances were, or why they had changed, or where they found themselves – their dedication to Jesus held.

 

Their circumstances changed quickly

Their devotion didn’t!

 

Hmmm – a noteworthy element right there in this exciting Travel Diary of Paul!

 

Ten verses later suddenly – Paul and Silas left for a new city.

I could do the whole “bags packed, ready to go” theme again but I’m sure you have got it!

BUT…

Acts 17:5-9 uses these words in describing Paul and Silas’ time in Thessalonica –

“Bitter jealousy, large mob, trouble makers,unsavoury characters,

Street gangs, riots, force, screaming out,

Dragged them, angry shouts, troubled city”

 

The itinerary starts to heat up – Left Thessalonica off to Berea (midnight flit). Preach as usual. Crowds stirred up against them. Off to Athens. Slipped away (midnight flit). Alone.

 

Circumstances changed quickly

His devotion didn’t

 

Acts 17:17 “…Everyday he preached in the public square…”

 

There are such a lot of amazing truths that the Holy Spirit uncovers in this chapter but what impacted me was –  

No matter what the circumstances look like

My devotion can look the same

 

I don’t know what you are going through. Maybe your circumstances have changed dramatically and quickly and there was no time to pack the correct emotions and thoughts, no anticipation, no chatting with others and you have found yourself – divorced, diseased, brokenhearted, threatened, damaged, bankrupt…

 

There is good news…

 

Acts 17:27 … every person would long for God, feel their way to him,[a] and find him—for he is the God who is easy to discover![b]

 

So, in our reality, no matter what circumstances or destination we find ourselves in –

GOD IS NOT FAR FROM EACH ONE OF US!

And – HE IS EASY TO DISCOVER!

 

Let our life’s ambition be

No matter what our circumstances may be –

Our devotion to Jesus will never waver.

 

Andy Clark

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