"I applied my mind to study and explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens." (NIV) Ecclesiastes 1:13
As I write this week I am doing so not from the comfort of my home in NH, but from a hotel lobby in San Antonio, TX. I had the good fortune and pleasure of extending a business trip to a weekend away with my husband. We had a chance to explore a city we had never been to before; a chance to see new things and explore new areas. We had a wonderful time and made new memories together.
This made me wonder about all of the exploration that happened throughout the Bible. From the time of Adam and Eve through Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc., we get a glimpse inside all that God has for his people to explore. When I think back on all of those times, I reflect how all these people stepped out to explore, stepped out in faith, and what it meant for all of us today.
Sometimes stepping out and exploring something new can lead to apprehension and fear. Even as recent as last week, I stepped out of that "comfort zone" and found myself doing things that were unfamiliar. I will admit I was a bit frightened. Do you know what I mean? That sick feeling in your stomach, trying to reach out to anyone who would respond (via cellphone), that would help calm my fears. I get like that when I do something new, something different. I rely on my OWN ability to feel secure in stepping out. We all know how that ends up! Every time I step out on my own, I tend to fail and feel horrible.
So this time, I decided to stop the immediate nauseousness and reach out to the one that always picks up my messages, my Dear Jesus. When I reach out to Him, I know He is always listening, always available, and always can guide my exploration. He never lets me down and helps me to see what I can't, the path to safety and strength. When I surrender to His help, I know it will be okay. That is exactly what happened this time. When I went to God for help, I immediately knew that my Lord was with me and peace came to me like it does when I fall into His safe arms.
Is there a part of your life that needs to be explored? Maybe it is a new town? Perhaps it is something larger than just exploring a new town. Maybe it is a new passion, a new position at work, a new path that God has set before you? Yes, these paths can bring apprehension and fear. Exploring can be difficult and intimidating. Always remember, though, that God is right next to you, with His loving arms around you. He helps you to explore and see things that you have never seen before. Take the step. Open your hearts and eyes to new experiences. What He has waiting for you can be an incredible journey.
"Heavenly Father, as I look around me to see what I can explore, help me to rely on you to bring peace to my fear and joy to my heart as new experiences in your world are part of my journey here. Bless all those who explore with you and bless their adventures. In your name, Amen"