Exploring new places, meeting different people, and experiencing a multitude of cultures – travel is a deeply enriching activity that can offer great personal and spiritual growth. But have you ever wondered, “What does the Bible have to say about travel?” After all, our faith guides us in all aspects of our lives. Today, let’s delve into biblical perspective on travel, and discover its relevance in a contemporary Christian’s life.
The Call To Travel
Throughout the Bible, we see many instances of God calling His servants to embark on journeys of great significance. One of the most iconic examples is seen in Genesis, when God tells Abraham to leave his homeland and travel to an unspecified location which He will later reveal. “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you'” (Genesis 12:1). Thus, Abraham sets on a journey that lays the foundation for a new nation.
This incident symbolizes a faith-driven journey, a journey that is not without its hardships, but one that ultimately leads to a divine destination. Much like this, every Christian may encounter phases of life where they might feel ‘called’ to move, change, or travel to grow spiritually and fulfill their God-given purpose.
Travel as Pilgrimage
The Bible also highlights travel as a form of pilgrimage and worship. In the Old Testament, it was a religious obligation for the people of Israel to travel to Jerusalem three times a year for the major festivals: Passover, Weeks (Pentecost), and Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16).
In the New Testament, we see Jesus Himself making these trips, including His famous journey to Jerusalem during His childhood (Luke 2:41-51). These instances signify travel as a journey towards greater closeness with God.
Travel and Evangelism
The Book of Acts recounts many of the Apostle Paul’s travel-rich missionary journeys. From Jerusalem to Rome, Paul traveled tirelessly, spreading the Gospel’s good news to all he encountered.
Paul’s tireless commitment to spreading Christianity shows that travel, powered by faith, can be a means to spread God’s Word. It reminds contemporary Christians that they can use opportunities of travel to extend the love, peace, and goodwill of Christ wherever they go.
Lessons From Travel
While the Bible does not explicitly outline a ‘theology of travel’, the stories and teachings do hint at the spiritual lessons to be learned from travel. These include trusting in God’s guidance (Proverbs 3:5-6), appreciating the diversity of God’s creation (Revelation 7:9), and understanding that our ultimate journey leads us home to God (Hebrews 11:13-16).
From the patriarchs’ ancient journeys to Paul’s missionary trips, the Bible is filled with stories of travels that hold sacred symbolism. Whether it’s a call from God to start a fresh journey, a religious pilgrimage, the zeal for evangelism, or the spiritual lessons unravelled through travelling, it’s clear that travel holds a significant place in biblical narratives.
As modern readers and followers of Christ, this exploration encourages us to perceive travel beyond a purely leisure activity or as a necessity. Instead, it prompts us to view it as an expression of faith, an opportunity for spiritual growth, and a path towards fulfilling our purpose on this temporal earthly journey, leading us to our eternal home in Heaven.