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VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY
“Explore the world in you” the advert said.  “Discover a new you over each new horizon”. 
That sounds good we thought, let’s go for it. Off we went to Thomas Cook and booked a cruise holiday. And by the time you are reading this Barbara and I will have sailed the Mediterranean and be back home!                                                                                                                           
We all enjoy going off on holiday. Travelling to new places; experiencing for ourselves the sights and sounds of foreign lands. Yes, there is the hassle of check-in; the concern in our minds as to whether all the arrangements will go smoothly. But as someone recently said, get over the potholes and focus on the destination! Our Creator God has given us an amazing world so, if we can, as opportunity allows, let’s get out there and explore it!     
Cruising in the Mediterranean has made me think of those in the Bible who went cruising. Paul sailed often as he travelled around taking the Gospel to new people on his missionary journeys. Jonah famously ran off to sea to try and avoid God’s call. Even Jesus spent time on his disciples’ fishing boats on the Sea of Galilee – sometimes as a means of taking some time out away from the crowds.         
 As Paul and Jonah cruised they encountered new people, new situations but they also found out new things about themselves. Travel does indeed broaden the mind. Paul was given insights about Jesus that laid the foundations for the Christian way of life. Jonah came to realise how much he depended on God and the need to obey His call. They both found that what they encountered on their travels left their mark on them.          
 
Holidays, time away from the day to day treadmill, do give to a chance to put life on pause – to take a breather – perhaps time to reflect on where you are on life’s journey. And all the sights, sounds and encounters will feed into that reflection. 
Jesus took to the sea and to the hills when he needed time to rest, to reflect on his life’s journey. We all need to do that and if we are able to spend a little time in different surroundings it really does help our perspective on where we are at. It doesn’t have to be a fortnight sailing around the Mediterranean – a day or two on retreat at Formby can be just as rewarding.    
Perhaps, for Barbara and myself the cruise will live up to the advertising hype – and we will “Explore the world in you” and  “Discover a new you over each horizon”.  Just as long as we don’t end up shipwrecked (like Paul) or inside a whale (like Jonah)  we will be back to tell you about it! 
Wherever you are spending this holiday period I pray that you will have a chance to be still and know God that bit more and travel that bit closer to Jesus.
Nigel

 
 


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