Even though the title above is words taken from a children’s song I find too many adults who don’t really believe it. The world is a vast mystery and even though people are saying that the world is getting “smaller” it doesn’t mean that we as Americans are learning more about cultures but rather that we are just connected with more people.
I just read a great post from The Art of Manliness website (if you are a man and haven’t seen this sight I highly encourage you to check it out!) on getting out and seeing the world. Christopher Hutchinson, the author, states that according to the U.S. State Department that only 27% of Americans owned a passport in 2007 and even fewer used them repeatedly. Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Traveling the world gives you great insight not only concerning the country you are visiting but also about the United States. You will learn how other countries perceive the US, how much our country influences the world, and how we are affected by world events.
I’m convinced there is no better way to spice you life up then by going to another country. “I had just one more chance to be a boy, and I took it”, replied Theodore Roosevelt, in an answer to a friend who asked why he had literally risked his life on an expedition into an explored river in Brazil.
I think our American churches unknowingly miss out on what God has in store for us because we lose sight of His global agenda. I’ve seen people not go on missions trips for all kinds of reasons - lack of money, they can’t get off of work, or because they’re a picky eater. I think for many people those are all masks for fear and that they really don’t believe “He’s go the whole world in His hands”.
My friends at Student Leadership University have as their mantra, “You will be the same person ten years from now expect for the places you go, the people you meet, the books you read, and the Scripture you memorize.” Why would they say that? Because those are the things that shape how we think and who we are. They introduce us to another way of living.
I wonder what our churches, families, communities, and individuals would be like if we were to travel the world more frequently. Take this challenge from Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
And remember… He’s got the whole world in His hands!