Tears rolled down my face as I was on a plane returning to Georgia from a week long trip in Washington D.C which I had won in a speech contest for rising high school juniors from our local electric co-op. I was 17 years old.
Growing up in rural Georgia with limited lifetime travel experiences to Panama City Beach Florida (also know affectionately in the South as the Red Neck Riviera) and the Great Smokey Mountains, I thought this would be the one and only time ever in my life I would fly or travel outside of the South.
I had spent the $100 crisp dollar bill my grandfather had given to enjoy the trip. That was the first time I had ever seen a $100 bill. Now enriched with patriotic trinkets, I was returning to personal family drama which plagued my life in my teens. I also was returning back to the very small limited view of the world.
Television brought me visions of places around the world – Elvis’ Hawaii, Wars in Europe and Asia, the Berlin Wall which the news broadcasted as Reagan declared, “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!” Yet, in my world, those place could have been on Mars or Jupiter. Going there would be for others but never for myself. No, this small town boy from the country would never see those place except on the screen. My vision for myself was bleak. My world view extended to the edge of my grandparent’s farm fields.
In just a few year later in college, my father’s job would moved him to Bel Air, Maryland and I found myself on a plane again heading towards Washington D.C. On that trip, I would take day trips into D.C. and visit the sites and sounds again which brought me so much joy a few years previously. I laughingly remember being kicked out of a tour group in the gallery of Congress. I had innocently joined them because I was enjoying the talk. I was kindly asked to leave the group.
Once again, I saw the powerful White House, rose to the heights of the Washington monument, and enjoyed the art and history of America though the vast corridors of the Smithsonian.
A few years after that, I would find myself on the Crossroads on the World, Time Square, in New York City. There, I would try a bagel for the first time, see my first broadway show, and partake in a New York hotdog and New York pizza.
A few later after that, I would have to get a passport. I would spend a week with several of my friends in London, England. We stayed across the Thames River opposite Big Ben and the Parliament Building.
Then, I met my wife, Karen, from The Bahamas and I would travel there to meet her family before we said, “I do.” After that, She and I would travel to Belize, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Canada, and Belgium. We would get into RVing. It has taken our family as far south as the United States southern most point, the Florida Keys. We have eaten Po Boys and Sno Cones in New Orleans and BBQ in Kansas City. We roamed with the buffalo in South Dakota and saw Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. We have swam the oceans of the Outer Banks of North Carolina and ate seafood in the lowlands of South Carolina. We have hiked the hills of Tennessee and explorations have taken us to the mountains, coast, swamps, and flatlands of Georgia.
These places are just a few of the many destinations around America and the world I have been able to travel. Yes, all these places and more from one who at the age of 17, my personal and world view was so limited to what I could see with my naked eye.
Don’t take the limits of who you can be and what you can do. You plus God equals the majority and with God all things are possible.
Karen and I live everyday with one mantra about our life, our marriage and our family: Our best is STILL yet to come! Recently while on our summer travels, we were talking about what things we desire as far as career, travels, etc. We could think of nothing extra nor needed yet we know we serve Daddy God who always like to blow the minds of His children with great big surprises.
We believe our eyes have not seen nor our ears have heard nor our minds can conceive the things and places our Daddy God has planned for us because He loves us. (1 Corinthians 2:9) We know He has big plans for us to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
God has placed me a few minutes away from the world’s largest airport, Atlanta’s famed Hartsfield-Jackson, which can take me anywhere in the world and today, I never, ever sit on a plane before it takes off where I am reminded of limited 17 year old teenager. Yes, God has done it. It has not been my plan but His plan to position me and place me near Hartsfield-Jackson.
I have a travel drawer in my home filled with everything I need prepared for a moments notice to travel. I am ready. The limits have been taken off. My vision has been enlarged. My world view is now global. I am always ready to ‘go into all the world to preach the gospel.’
Don’t have a “the sky is the limit” view. Have a “sky is just the beginning” view. The Creator of the Universe is your travel agent and travel partner.
Be encouraged to take the limits off. Enlarge your vision. Increase your global view. Cast fear aside. Cut the cords of limitations and get ready to run wherever God desires for you to go.