Owing to my wife's working in a school, she and I still take our annual holiday during August. All through June and July she gets fed up with me saying, "In two months time, we'll be in …." I have always found that anticipation is a significant part of the pleasure of the annual holiday. We tend to take a DIY approach to booking ferries, hotels and campsites, so there is a lot to do before we go, but this seems to be all part of the fun. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive” and there may be some truth in that.
Travel is the subject of a number of memorable quotations. Yogi Berra is not well-known in this country, but he is famous in America as a baseball player and coach, but also for his bon mots. Attributed to him are such gems as “It’s déjà vu all over again” and “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”. Less famous, is his comment regarding travel, “You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
People often refer to life as a journey. Christian people believe that they do know where they are going and that their destination is a heavenly home. While travel is important, home is good too. As Thorin Oakenshield said to Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: “If more of us valued home above gold, the world would be a merrier place.”
“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going,” wrote Paul Theroux. While Christian people might know where they are going, they won’t know by which route they will get there. There is risk in following in the footsteps of Jesus and part of this risk is that while the destination is known, the route is uncertain. Douglas Coupland wrote, “Adventure without risk is Disneyland.” Christian people are called to take risks. Knowing where this journey will take us means that we can travel hopefully because we go in the knowledge that the destination is worthwhile.