"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
-Neale Donald Walsch
I love the airport. I love the whole process of packing a suitcase, going through the ticket line, sitting at the gate and people watching. Taking off on an adventure somewhere outside of your normal 9 to 5 daily grind. Exploring new cities and discovering new places.
But until about 5 years ago, I only enjoyed doing this within the continental United States.
Because it was predictable. Because it was "safe." Because it was comfortable.
When I was younger I made a list of places around the world I would like to see one day. But I never thought much of it because in my mind there were so many variables that were out of my control once I left the comfort of my home country. In fact, I used to always say that I never felt "called" to go on a mission trip. I fully supported missions and those who ventured out, but that just wasn't what God was telling me to do.
But it just wasn't true.
The reality was that I had felt a gentle nudge from God for a few years about taking a trip...but I chose, for a long time, to ignore it. And then one day, after watching a video in church about several teams who had just come back from trips all around the world, something clicked. I knew it was time to stretch myself and take a step out of my little box.
It was time to apply for my passport.
And when it arrived at my home, two days before my first mission trip, it might as well have been Willy Wonka himself standing at my door with the Golden Ticket. It was beautiful. It's fresh, blank pages just waiting to be stamped with remnants of adventures of a lifetime. It was my ticket to a new perspective. My chance to see the world through the eyes of someone else...to paint the picture of other cultures the way no book could ever do.
It was my opportunity to experience God in a whole new light. To stand with people in another country who are thousands of miles from me, who speak another language, but yet to worship the same great God is absolutely humbling and astounding. And to carry those friendships with me wherever I go, just makes this great big world that much smaller.
My passport is not just my ticket to adventure...it's my invitation to serve God in a way I could never serve Him at home in my comfort zone. It's my opportunity to shift my perspective of my reality I've created for myself in my own little corner of the world.
It's my little reminder of just how small we are and how infinitely big He is.