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Finding Faith: Travel is good for faith

A summer trip offered a much greater appreciation of the vastness of God’s creation on earth, while also putting things into perspective.

Devlyn Brooks 2021
Devlyn Brooks
Contributed
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They say that travel is good for the soul.

I also say travel is good for faith as it gives you a greater perspective about what a fascinating planet on which we live.

Thanks to a couple of recent work and personal trips, within 10 days, I found myself on the Texas shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic beach in Florida, driving across the Nebraska plains and finally marrying my niece and her spouse high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Each experience gave me a much greater appreciation of the vastness of God’s creation here on earth.

Standing with my toes in the water of the Gulf of Mexico, it was impossible to think that Florida was some 800 miles away by boat. And a week later, it was even more overwhelming to try to grasp the size of the Atlantic Ocean, while standing on Florida’s eastern shore.

Then there was the trip across the plains to the Colorado Rockies. As I drove through the openness of Nebraska and eastern Colorado, I was moved by its unique beauty. And then I reached the mountains, and I was simultaneously overcome with joy because of the sheer beauty of them and seized by fear because of their intimidating presence.

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These amazing adventures, so close in succession, gave me an up close glimpse of the Creator’s handiwork, while also putting my small place in the universe into perspective.

“For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.” (Psalm 95:3-5)

That’s why travel is important: It’s too easy to get trapped into our daily routines, where we believe we are so in control of everything, and our surroundings are reduced to a very small world. When in reality, these unimaginably large bodies of water, the plains that stretch to the horizon and mountains that reach the heavens remind us that we are but a speck in the larger cosmos.

Yes, we are each a beloved child of God, but our human egos easily can run amok with that little bit of self-realization. We become self-centered, actually there is not only a great big world, but an entire universe out there.

Gaining perspective is important. It not only educates us, but it can also humble us. And that is not a bad thing.

When your wheels are clinging to the edge of a switchback with no guardrail, with a semi-truck bearing down on you from the opposite direction, 8,000 feet up in the mountains, you find a healthy dose of humility quick.

And that’s not a bad thing for one’s faith.

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Related Topics: FAITHTRAVEL
Opinion by Devlyn Brooks
Devlyn Brooks is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and serves Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minn. He also works for Forum Communications Co. He can be reached at devlyn.brooks@forumcomm.com for comments and story ideas.
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