Travel Poster Faith
This September marks a milestone for our family. It will be 20 years since we grasped the promise of a better life the travel posters offered, thus propelling us to leave our familiar surroundings of England and move all our furniture, four suitcases and two children, 12,000 miles to the Great Southern Land called Australia.
I have no regrets. Our family has truly benefitted from embracing the pioneering attitude. However, since stepping out from the comforts of Kingsford Smith airport all those years ago, God has patiently walked alongside me and allowed me to discover through many heartaches and triumphs, a much better life. A life of true freedom and adventure that no glossy travel poster was ever able to offer me when I clicked in my seat belt ready for my flight.
It makes me so sad to see some preachers take on the role of a travel agent rather than a disciple-maker. They sell people a travel poster faith that promises them an ideal experience while glossing over the fact that Jesus said in Matthew chapter 16 that if you want to follow Him, you must deny yourself the things you think you want…pick up your cross and follow Me.
Hardly looks like a travel poster promise of a better life, right?
But I don’t think I’ve read anywhere in my Bible that God promised an easy faith, He just asked His disciples to “follow” wherever and whatever that looked like. The connection we make from reading God’s Word to living out our faith is the ‘Good News’ Jesus offers. Even though we rebel, we fail, we develop attitudes that do not reflect the mind of Christ, somehow God is still willingly ready to help us, to woo us, and to guide us in letting go of our preconceptions of a travel poster faith and embrace something far more real, far more life-giving, and far more impacting to those around us.
Flattery makes egos develop quicker than disciples and it doesn’t sustain our faith in the long run. We can end up disappointed because our circumstances and situations look nothing like what the poster promised. Obedience, patience, and sacrifice are never found on travel posters that sell us a nice world to live out our faith in.
Moving countries didn’t mean that life was bad in England, we just felt we were called to something more. And I’ll let in on a little secret. I had left the church at that point and my husband wasn’t a Christian. My kids didn’t know what faith meant. We never had a map to show us what to do. We just had a sense that we needed to move.
For the first few years, we were torn between the old life and the new one we were developing. It took time to transition through the hits and misses, the pain and the heartaches, the triumphs, and successes. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t change any of the past 20 years because I found Jesus again. Or rather, I stopped running so He could find me.
Like I said before, I have no regrets and I wouldn’t have found my true self if I’d have clung to the idea that the travel poster promised before we moved. I found God in all my messiness. I found hope even in the heartache, and I found a faith that was my own and not a borrowed version of my parents.
Travel poster faith is not what Jesus died for. The Bible isn’t a glossy travel magazine that reveals secrets to a perfect life. However, it does offer us something far better. It promises rescue, restoration, and redemption. It invites us into a relationship with God that brings freedom that this world cannot give.
So, keep pressing in and pressing on. As Paul reminds us, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’ Galatians 6:9.
You were made for so much more than travel poster faith, my friend.
Because you are an overcomer!
In a season of no travelling, do you find you’re looking longingly at travel posters?
I pray that when we can travel once again, we will see the world with a fresh perspective, and we will know that during this season, God has built into our faith an endurance attitude that isn’t a ‘travel poster faith’ but a real faith, one that is a testament to others and leads people to Jesus.