Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Spiritual Meaning of Travel

I did the devotional talk at church last night on "The Spiritual Meaning of Travel." When done right, travel is something that feeds the soul and enriches life. As it says in Col 3:17 whatever we do, we are to do in the name of the Lord. We Americans do a lot of travel so we should do it with spiritual intention. Just as Man was not made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath was made for Man, so Travel was made for us and is a gift for our spiritual formation.

A blessing that accompanies travel is that our senses are heightened. Sights and scenes are more vivid , tastes and smells are more intense, attention is increased, and memory improved. At home we have our priorities, our concerns, chores, commitments to family, work, church and friends. Our senses are dulled or go unnoticed because of the business at hand. When we leave the routine for a trip, short or long, we leave that behind.

I recounted memories of forty years ago when I was on a mission trip with a Harding U. group in the Netherlands. Gave a food story.

The Bible is one long travelogue, really. The characters travel for a variety of reasons: to deliver messages, engage in commerce, visit family, perform government business, escape danger, perform religious observance, attends feasts, weddings, and go on missions. Gave examples of some of these. But, there is risk in travel. Travel benefits us but there are times when accidents and bad things happen. The Good Samaritan had some bad luck. The Man of God of I Kings 13 too. He believed a lie and was killed. Finally there is the family of David Lipscomb. When he was young, his Dad and Uncle left Tennessee for the North in order to release their slaves. While there, some pestilence came through and killed a third of the group. Yes, there is risk in travel, but the risk brings benefits to others. I brought that out because I'm not a proponent of a health and wealth gospel. But, I do derive comfort from a tweet by Max Lucado "Here is an idea. Assume it's going to work out for the best. Isn't Romans 8:28 still in the Bible?"

Next, before discussing heroes of the Bible and their Transformative Travels I introduced my own list of characteristics of:

The Archetypal Journey
  1. In the Ordinary World
  2. Call to Adventure/Refusal
  3. Crossing the Threshold
  4. Tests/Ordeals/Experiences
  5. Rewards/Promises
  6. The Road Back
  7. Arriving with what is learned and sharing
There are various versions of the above. Joseph Campbell and others have described, argued and enumerated the stages of the heroes journey elsewhere as can be googled.

Examples of Transformative Travel in the Bible

You, dear reader, are probably familiar enough to match the experiences of each of these to the list above. And you are to make all your travels match the above as well. Be the hero of your own jouneys.
  1. Abraham
  2. Moses
  3. Ruth
  4. Israel Wandering in the Wilderness
  5. Israel taken in Captivity and Returning from Exile
  6. The Prodigal Son
  7. Paul to Arabia and Paul on his Missionary Journies
  8. Jesus many travels between and around Galilee and Judea
Travel and Creativity

Recently discovered an article by Jonah Lehrer, the author of "Proust was a Neuroscientist", that discusses travel and creativity. He says "We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity." Check this out by him. I may expand this in a later post as this post is long enough.

Tips for Spiritually Meaningful Travel - taken from Joseph Dispenza's writings
  • Take gifts
  • Close the door - leave the past behind
  • Name the trip - Recount/review what you learned/accomplished
  • Tell the story of your trip - make it a journey - relate your experiences
  • Give thought to a memento - sometimes the finding of it, the mindful selection of it, bringing it back adds to and deepens the experience
  • Reflect and celebrate it

May all your trips be journeys - opportunities for spiritual formation and growth.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Wedding was Yesterday

Been out of town a long time. Left Saturday May 8 for Nashville to be at Derek and Catherine's graduation from Lipscomb University.

Proud parents and brother

Then I drove to Memphis to spend the night with Marcus and fly to Rochester, NY for the 56th International Instrumentation Symposium. I have been laptopless for some time and lost track of a lot of things. The computer in the hotel business center was a big help but still not satisfactory. Arrived in Memphis late Friday night. And drove back to Nashville to get ready for the big event of Monday, Derek and Catherine's wedding.

Dorothy and Catherine

More pictures are on my Facebook site.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Some of my favorite tweets

1. Virtual J. of Laser

Luminescent properties of Eu3+ activated tungstate based novel red-emitting phosphors #laser about 7 hours ago via Google

2. Jimmy Adcox

The people dancing are thought crazy by those who can't here the music. @alanhirsch #futuretravelers (via @willmancini) about 11 hours ago via Twitterrific

3. Virtual J. of Laser

Millijoule-class Yb-doped pulsed fiber laser operating at 977?nm #laser 2:07 PM May 5th via Google I want one of these!

4. Leonard Sweet

Nothing exists until it is called into existence by relationship: thus saith Schroedinger’s cat; thus sayeth Large Hadron Collider (LHC)? 7:40 PM Apr 18th via web

5. Virtual J. of Laser

Femtosecond laser-drilling-induced HgCdTe photodiodes #laser 10:01 AM Mar 23rd via Google

6. Virtual J. of Laser

High-peak-power subnanosecond passively Q-switched ytterbium-doped fiber laser #laser 4:00 PM Mar 15th via Google and one of these too!

7. Max Lucado

You can't handle the future untli u make peace with your past. Join us now @ 11:38 AM Mar 7th via Echofon

8. Lady Gaga

Isn't it interesting how one singing voice is (while subjective), either good or bad. But a CROWD of people singing, ALWAYS sounds beautiful 3:44 PM Mar 6th via web

9. Adrien apricotica

After several months of being ignored I tried to capture the interest of my former stalker, but it seems there's a 15% restalking fee. :( 10:34 AM Feb 26th via web

10. Verified Account TheBosha

Creativity is just sanctified sneakiness. 1:39 AM Feb 26th via web

11. Max Lucado

Write today’s worries in sand. Chisel yesterday’s victories in stone. 8:26 AM Jan 29th via web

12. Leonard Sweet

“If someone asks me how to find God, I say, find someone to love and you will find God.” late Reuel Howe 7:01 AM Jan 29th via web Retweeted by you and 9 others

13. Leonard Sweet

computers becoming more human & humans becoming more cyborgian; world of matter is animating & world of animation is materializing 12:31 PM Dec 14th, 2009 via web

14. Max Lucado

Make friends with whatever comes next.Embrace it.Accept it.Don't resist it. 8:00 AM Dec 6th, 2009 via API

15. Jimmy Adcox

Tyler Parten died heroically while serving in Afghanistan. His vision was humanitarian 12:35 PM Nov 18th, 2009 via Twitterrific

16. Jimmy Adcox

You'll never do anything creative,innovative or worldchanging if u FEAR criticism.Pioneers r easy targets 4 arrows!Mt10:28 (via @RickWarren 6:13 PM Sep 21st, 2009 via Twitterrific

17. Bob Chisholm

Henry Chadwick, The Early Church, p. 56 - "The most potent single cause of Christian success … care for the poor, for widows and orphans …" 1:16 PM Sep 18th, 2009 via

18. Max Lucado

Unleash a worry army.Share your feelings w/a few loved ones.Ask them to pray w/ & for you.Less worry on your part means happiness on theirs. 8:01 AM Sep 18th, 2009 via web

19. Leonard Sweet

My fav lines from Welsh poet/tramp W. H. Davies (d.1940): "Time never turns a thought to gold/Unless a tear has made it wet" 7:52 AM Sep 18th, 2009 via web

20. Leonard Sweet

How do we move churches from the defensive mentality of fortification to the offensive attitude of exploration? 12:18 PM Sep 5th, 2009 via web

and my Most Favorite

Max Lucado MaxLucado Here is an idea. Assume it's going to work out for the best. Isn't Romans 8:28 still in the Bible?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Language Log

It's time to find some new and interesting web sites. Came across this blog this morning.

Language Log

At that site I noticed that Geoff Nunberg is a contributor. I used to hear him give short pieces on language on NPR. Always enjoyed them. Here is his Berkeley site.

Geoffrey Nunberg

LinkBoth these sites have links to other very interesting sites and people. Plan to spend a little more time at these.

On the personal side, our life has been full and meaningful. We trekked to DC last weekend to look for housing for my younger son and his soon-to-be wife. Ate at a good German restaurant. Walked around Georgetown where he will matriculate in medicine come August. Walked around George Washington University where she will be in Law school. They graduate from Lipscomb U. this week end.

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