Last summer our family of five loaded ourselves and a ridiculous amount of luggage into our minivan and headed out West.
We set out on a road trip adventure to meet up with some of our dearest friends. It was a week full of hiking, sunshine, and laughter and was exactly what my soul needed after those uncertain first few months of the pandemic.
Mixed somewhere in the heap of things we had packed was my Bible. At home when I am in my routine, I rarely skip a beat when it comes to spending time with God. Vacations however are an entirely different story. Although I packed my quiet time supplies with every intention to get up early before our long list of daily activities began, I wasn’t exactly batting a thousand by the week’s end. In fact, my Bible never even saw the light of day.
As I watched the fields pass by out the window on our long drive home, I felt the emotion of what first felt like guilt rise up within me.
But how could that be? I had just spent a week making beautiful memories, and my Spirit felt more alive than it had in months. I began to reflect on my “encounters with God” that week. Although I never opened His Word, it had been very much present and came to mind often throughout the days. He not only meets me in my quiet times but is in my everyday moments too.
Psalm 23:2 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.” I worshiped Him in my rest as I slept in and slowed down that week.
Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” I stood at the edge of the Black Hills in awe of His creation over and over again.
Proverbs 7:2-3 “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” Scripture bubbled up within me as we explored and marveled at the beauty we saw. Worship songs rang out as we drove through the Mountains and I was overwhelmed with His majesty.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go and eat your bread with gladness and drink your wine with a merry heart...” I recognized Him in our delicious meals and treats–in the abundance and creativity of food and drink.
Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.” I enjoyed sweet fellowship and conversation with friends and was reminded of the gift that it is to be in community with one another.
2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” I enjoyed and gave silent thanks to my family and saw things in new ways through my children’s eyes.
While I strongly encourage you to pack your Bible as you head out on your summer travels (and use it!) I also challenge you to keep an eye outside of the box you have likely created. You will encounter God there too.