Summer has finally arrived! It is vacation time! It is time to pack our bags and get ready for a new adventure!
During the summer months, we have many choices. Perhaps, we could explore a new place, or gather with family and friends, or enjoy a staycation in the KC Metro area. No matter our vacation destination, it will be a time to create new memories, laugh, take pictures and post selfies. Yet, during these fun times, we may also face challenges as we manage expectations, negotiate compromises, evaluate budgets and most importantly avoid Griswold-like experiences.
Just as we travel to explore new places, Jesus traveled from one town and village to another proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Jesus’ companions on these journeys were the disciples. What they experienced and saw was so remarkable that we still read and share it today.
I often wonder how this large group maintained harmony as Jesus shared the same message day after day, week in and week out. While Jesus preached with some variation in each town, Jesus’ followers got so they could recite Jesus’ teachings word for word. Also, I am curious about how the disciples managed their constant companionship. Did they draw straws to see who chose their next destination? Were their arguments about who sat next to Jesus at dinner? Who got blamed when they headed in the wrong direction? What happened when Simon forgot where he left his coin purse? How did they address Peter, James and John when they wanted to go fishing rather than listen to Jesus preach? Who helped Mathew fix his broken sandal? And, how many times did Luke need to be reminded to take notes about Jesus’ teachings and miracles?
While the joys of group travel, sometimes can have its downsides, I remind myself that Jesus showed us how to practice patience and delight in the presence of others. Jesus provided opportunities for the disciples to learn and fail and still feel loved. So, as we pack our bags, let’s be sure to include a little patience, thoughtfulness and compassion along with the sunscreen!
Creator, I pray as we journey this summer, whether we travel near or far, we will be disciples who are filled with integrity and faithfulness. Allow our travels to interject new beauty into our lives and most importantly, let us have fun!
Kathy is a founding member of Saint Andrew and currently lives in Overland Park with her husband Steve. Her email is email@example.com.