This week I am in the US and Canada for work. Most years I get to do some work travel which is amazing. I have also personally done a decent amount of travel on holidays -not as much as many people, but travel is definitely high on my list of the joys in life. To be honest I have probably spent more money on travel than I have on shoes – and I love shoes !
We al know about the normal benefits of travel ; expanding your understanding of the people’s lives, experiencing other cultures and enriching your soul with the beauty of the planet.
However for leaders there are some surprising benefits.
1. Loss of Control
When you are travelling you are frequently at the mercy of many other people. Whether it is an airplane pilot or some-one picking you up from an airport, you have to rely on people. For people who are use to calling the shots this can be un-nerving. It is good to feel this again and realise we are never really in control. We need to stay in a place of dependence on God, good to be reminded of this as we travel so we are prepared for life’s challenges
2. Keeps us Flexible.
No matter how you travel, even if you can do first class five star all the way (and that is certainly not me -yet !!) you have to stay flexible when you travel. Planes are delayed, baggage gets lost, host families eat dinner at 9pm, instead of 7pm. In your normal life you can get quite stuck in your ways – flexibility means we can flow with these experiences. This ability to be flexible makes us better leaders and ministers because we can learn to flow with the Spirit
3. Teaches us Patience
If you live on the bottom of the world like I do, most places I travel to require a LONG flight. Even short flights require early check-ins and long lines to go through security checks. These places give us a good gauge of how the fruit of the Spirit is operating in our lives.
4. Creates a Strength in our Walk with God
Of course we all prefer to sit or walk in our special place to meet with God. Routines are good for us. However I have had some amazing revelations at 12,000 feet up. We need to have strength in our walk with God that allows us to connect with him wherever we are.
5. Creates a Character Check
Yes we all can behave well in our spheres of influence where our roles are defined. How do we behave in a city where no-one knows us. How do we treat people when we are tired and lost. Will we rip off local people when travelling alone ?
If you can possibly do it, build some travel into your life. It doesn’t have to be expensive, get on a train and go to the next state, stay in a backpackers for a night. Have an adventure – it will do you a surprising amount of good !
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