“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and
to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends.
You are constantly off balance.
Nothing is yours except the essential things—air, sleep,
dreams, the sea, the sky—all things tending towards the
eternal or what we imagine of it” (Cesare Pavese).

An amazing traditional Chinese dining experience (fifteen courses long)
that enlarged my palate, hosted by my incredible new friend, Nancy.

“Lord, Thailand is a long way from Virginia,” I whispered as I read an invitation, via email, to speak at a women’s conference in Bangkok, Thailand. “I would never be able to make that trip. A 23-hour plane ride? No way! I barely survived this plane ride to France!” Having received this invitation while in Europe with my husband—I read it, briefly talked to him about it, and decided I would have to make a decision when I returned home. In the mean time, my daughter, Candace, also received an invitation to lead the worship for the same women’s conference in Bangkok. Little did I know, she was already packing her bags (figuratively) and coordinating our flights—hers from New Zealand and mine from Virginia (smile). When she and I finally connected, she was raring to go!

“Mom, you have to go! This is the opportunity of a lifetime! You can do it! What is there to think about? And, we will be together for the first time in almost nine months!” she exclaimed.

“Candace, seriously? There is no way I can fly that far! My arthritis. My fibromyalgia. I’ll go crazy. Twenty-three hours of flying?”

“Mom, you have to.”

With those words, I told her (and my friend, Kim, who had extended the invitation) that I would give it serious thought and prayer. After talking to my husband, praying, and mulling every question and doubt I could mutter, I woke up early one morning with two very simple—yet straightforward—words on my lips, “Why not?”

What could I say to that except, “Yes!”

So, after hours and hours of researching international flights (which I knew nothing about), I took a very, very deep breath and pressed “click.” That’s it. With one click, I was on my way to Bangkok, Thailand on November 3.

(New friend, Kay, I met on the first flight to Tokyo.
She was my personal “guide” for understanding
the Japanese menu, customs, etc. Sheer delight!)

Somehow, that little click, that little “yes” put me in a state of being “constantly off balance” with questions, such as:

  • What in the world did I just do?
  • How can I fly that far?
  • Can I really speak to an international audience? a completely different culture in a country that is 96% Buddhist?
  • What about my crazy schedule of commitments?
  • What about the jet lag, my weak physical body, etc. etc. etc.

Then, I found myself “completely at peace” because God was all over the invitation, the journey and the details. Oh, yes, every little perplexing detail. When I uttered a doubt, God’s word rose up:

  • “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (1 Thess. 5:22-23).

He will do it. Four very convincing words, don’t you agree?

Have you ever been faced with an invitation to step way out of your comfort zone—spiritually, physically or emotionally? Perhaps it wasn’t a physical invitation to travel abroad but an emotional invitation to reach out to a neighbor in need? or forgive someone close who has hurt you terribly? or _________________ (take a moment to fill in the blank). Something so crazy or perplexing (bringing a sense of constant imbalance) that it seems utterly ludicrous to say “yes” but deep inside you find yourself completely at peace?

(God is always ON TIME, isn’t he?)

Sometimes God works this way. As much as I would like to believe otherwise, it is true. Sometimes, he stirs the pot of our comfortable little lives (see “The Process” on Dec. 21) in order to move us out to greater spheres of spiritual growth.

Thank God I pressed click. Said “yes.” Endured a 23 hour journey. If I hadn’t, I would have missed out on an incredible opportunity which introduced me to a whole new world of ministry, friendships, kingdom work/advancement, and spiritual development.

Do you need to press “click” and say “yes” to God’s nudging? God’s fresh movement in your life? Is there a “Bangkok” calling?

Drink in 1 Thessalonians 5:22-23. Note a trinity of truths:

  1. We serve the God of peace.
  2. He will sanctify through and through—he is thorough.
  3. When He calls, He comes through—in every little perplexing detail.

It is so good to know that we can be “constantly off balance and completely at peace.”

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