“Success is fleeting and image is nothing…. What are you living for?”
By Paul H. Boge
There’s nothing quite like going on an adventure. New people. New sights. New foods. New languages. And an opportunity to discover something about yourself.
And about God.
Travelling takes time and freedom. Sometimes, singleness offers people the opportunity to visit places they may not otherwise be able to experience. On average, singles tend to have more disposable time, and that time can be spent on absorbing the world God has created.
But to what end? Why travel?
Travelling teaches us about ourselves. More importantly, it teaches us about God. When we get outside of our normal routine of work, home and recreation we can see God in new ways. Travelling is one of many ways to open doors of insight—into our character, our world and the God who created it.
I love the book of Acts. The open sea. Foreign cities. Different people. The Apostle Paul was a great travelling adventurer. He too was single. He travelled with a purpose, and it was used by God.
I’ve had chances through my work as an engineer and a writer to travel to incredible places. And the experiences have taught me incredible things about God.
After completing an engineering project on a mine site in northern Manitoba I took an extended trip to teach physics and math to rescued street children at Mully Children’s Family in Kenya, Africa. I did not realize it at the time, but it was an adventure that would shape the rest of my life.
The founder, Charles Mulli, was an abandoned and abused six-year-old boy who rose up to become a powerful multimillionaire. Then one day God called him to sell everything he owned and to rescue thousands of street children. Mulli asked me to write his biography and that book went on to be used by God to transform people’s lives. It has also raised money for the work God is doing through Mulli in rescuing children.
You never know what God has in mind when He takes you on a journey.
I remember a friend of mine telling me that when I came back from Kenya I would see the world in a different way. I did not understand what he meant at the time, but I understand him now. Do we really need all these possessions? Is our culture’s definition of success the same definition that Christ has? As Mulli once said: “Success is fleeting and image is nothing. Years from now no one will ever even know we were here. So my question to you is: what are you living for?”
Living in a new culture can help us to be objective about our own culture. Sometimes we can become captive to ideas that are more cultural than biblical.
Travelling the Nile in Egypt allowed me to experience the places where my Old Testament hero Moses walked. Visiting the place where Christ may have been as a child made Him seem more accessible. More real. More of a tangible friend.
Whether travel is for business or for pleasure, we do well to keep our focus on Christ and be listening to what He wants to tell and show us. That person sitting next to us on the plane is not there by accident. That client we are meeting in that other city is not a chance encounter.
There is a time to travel for travel’s sake. But could God be calling you to use your time as a single to exercise your gifts for his glory? What about teaching at a home for rescued children? Going on a mission trip? Providing relief to those in need? Our God is a providential God. He designs everything. Including your time as a single.
Travelling is fun. Travelling with a purpose is even better. I am continually trying to be like the Apostle Paul to find ways to serve whether I am on the road, on the ground, in the air, or in the water (no sharks next time, please).
As singles, those opportunities are often available, if we just take the time to seek them out.
Paul H. Boge is a filmmaker, engineer and the author of Father to the Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story. He’s single and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
THE ARTICLE ABOVE WAS FEATURED IN THE SEPTEMBER 2013 ISSUE OF SEVEN MAGAZINE. GET SEVEN FREE