The Travel Planner

This week we’re looking into some of the happenings on Paul’s missionary journeys.

To get an accurate picture of the extensive traveling Paul did on his second missionary journey, you’ll need to look at some 1st century maps. As I was looking at one of those maps and reading Acts 16-20, I couldn’t help but think of the person in charge of his travel plans. As I read, I started imagining Paul texting his travel planner almost daily with his ever-changing plans:  

Timothy and I are traveling through Phrygia and Galatia and thinking about taking the Gospel to Asia. (Acts 16:6)

Thanks for making the travel plans for Asia – sorry, but you’ll have to cancel those plans. The Spirit of Jesus isn’t allowing that to happen. (Acts 16:6)

Please make arrangements for us to travel to Macedonia ASAP! I had a vision – and I believe God is calling us there. (Acts 16:10)

Thanks for getting us to Philippi! Hold off on the next plans – we’ve hit a little glitch – right now we’re in prison – I’ll get back with you when I know something. (Acts 16:23-24)

Seems we’re having some issues here in Thessalonica – they want to kick us out of town. Any way you can get us quickly to Berea? (Acts 17:2-10)

Thanks for getting us safely to Berea! Seems the same agitators have come here to upset the crowds. Gotta get to Athens. (Acts 17:10-14)

Spoke with the people at the Areopagus in Athens – seems they were worshiping an unknown God – but they did seem interested in new ideas. Need to head to Corinth next. (Acts 18:1)

Met a great couple in Corinth. And now I need you to arrange for all of us to sail to Syria and then on to Ephesus. (Acts 18:18-19)

And throughout the journey, I imagine a recurring text from Paul’s mom: Son, where ARE you? And WHEN are you coming home?

And Paul continued to travel…

Even if you love to travel, Paul’s schedule is no doubt more than you’d want to bite off. And if you don’t much like to travel, just reading of Paul’s travels reminds you how much you love home.

Paul traveled because God was continually sending him and opening new doors to him. In Paul’s second letter to the believers in Corinth, he explained that it was the love of Christ that compelled him (2 Corinthians 5:14). That love compelled him to go, compelled him to preach, compelled him to be honored to suffer for Christ’s sake.

It’s important for us to frequently examine our motivations as well, as we serve the Lord. Are we, like Paul, compelled by love?

By Judy Shrout

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