“So Anna, what are you going to do with your life?”
“Anna, what’s your passion?”
“Anna, what are you going to study in college?”
“Anna, what are your plans for the future?”
These questions used to terrify me and irritate me to no end. Every day, someone asks what I’m up to or what my plans are, and up until about 35 minutes ago in the shower, my response ranged from “Well, I think I’ll go out for running back in the Dallas Cowboys*” to “Let’s be honest, I’m going to die alone with 74 cats and nobody will notice until 3 weeks later.” It was a sad, unfulfilling existence with no real direction or passion. And then I realized what has been in front of me this whole time.
All of it.
The whole thing.
I want to see it.
If you don’t believe me, check my travel board on Pinterest.
Allow me to expound a little.
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
-Hebrews 13:14 NLT
If you’ve grown up in church, or even attended church for any length of time, you’ve either heard this verse or some iteration of its message. We are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. We have no permanent residence here, we are simply passing through. One might even venture to say that we are merely guests here, passing through on our way to the Home that Christ is preparing for us in Heaven (John 14:1-4).
Fair warning, this could get a little eisegesis-y, but bear with me.
So we’re guests of the world. It’s an interesting thought. This place is not our home, we are just stopping through on our way Home. And what does a proper guest do for their host? I believe Miss Manners (yes, I just did make that ancient reference.) would say that a gift is in order. Do you see where I’m going with this? Flip back to John 15, if you have your Bible available (and if you don’t, open another tab and google it. The internet is a magical thing.) and check out vs 18-27. This is the part where Jesus is briefing His disciples on everything that is going to happen after He ascends into Heaven. Jesus wasn’t just going to leave us to our own devices when He went to prepare a place for us, He planned ahead and left us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a gift. When we receive salvation, it is said that we receive the ‘gift of salvation’ or the ‘gift of the Holy Spirit.’ A gift. Are you tracking with me? Guests give their hosts gifts, the Holy Spirit is a Gift, and the logical conclusion is…
Obviously to buy the world a novelty corkscrew and a nice bottle of wine to say thanks for letting us stay for a bit.
Ok no really though.
When Jesus was training the disciples, He frequently commanded them to spread the gospel wherever they went.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
-Acts 1:8 NKJV
And since the Holy Spirit is now within us, our job is to be witnesses wherever we are. Consider it a thank-you gift to the world for putting us up as we pass through. But above all, we are following a direct command from God.
This is the part where my wanderlust comes in.
I’ve always loved to explore. I love to see new places, try new things, go on adventures. I can distinctly remember being approximately 7 years old, going out for a date with my daddy in his work car, telling him I wanted to go to India. I had no idea where India was or what was there, but I wanted to go there. And then I got older and Tanzania sounded cool. And now I’m looking at going to Bible college in Italy. This dream of traveling the world is becoming more of a reality as time goes by. It is now that I realize that the world is my passion. I want to see the as much of it as I possibly can. I want to meet new people, and hug them, and tell them about Jesus. Geez I sound like a starry eyed traveler. But it’s all becoming clear to me now, this is what I want to do with my life. Not necessarily be a missionary, but rather be a sojourner. I realize now that I have this incredible gift, the gift of salvation, of the Holy Spirit, and I want to share it, share Him, wherever I land.
That’s what I want to do with my life now.
Fact of Life: If you listen long enough, Jesus will tell you what to do. And if it’s really His idea, He’ll provide the means to make it happen, too.
*Note: After a few offers from the Cowboys, I’ve had to stop telling people that’s what I wanted to do. They didn’t seem to understand the joke.