Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.netIt tends to be a crazy feeling, that tension between feeling like a total stranger, yet knowing you have complete freedom because no one knows you! Sometimes the feeling of just plain getting lost in a new place can be exhilarating. This place can be five minutes from your house, or across the nation.
Here are some things I'm learning about how to explore new places:
PONDER: Where can you go today that is new for you? Perhaps you have the day off work, or perhaps during your lunch hour you can plan a trip for some other day. Ponder what options might be waiting for you, just right under your nose.
NETWORK: Talk to friends and family--and ask them to talk to their friends and family. Find connections to people who already live in those areas, especially if they are far away. Getting to know new people is always so much fun, and a person can learn a lot from a brand new perspective. Reach out and meet up with people!
PLAN: Once you have decided upon visiting a certain new place, make a semi-clear plan. Where will you venture? Do you have any goals while you're there? What do you hope to learn? The most important point here is to make plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to work spontaneously! We can only plan some things--but it is God who determines our steps.
REFLECT: Take time to journal, write, think, and draw some conclusions from your journey. I personally love to journal, so I try to write a short entry about my adventures, lessons learned, or conversation--something I can refer back at a later time.
Most of all, HAVE FUN! Let the joy of our good God penetrate wherever you go. Feel the freedom of learning about new places. My recent prayer has been for open eyes and tuned ears. May we see God's beauty and creation in each and every part of the world, and within every person.
Where can you explore in the near future? What are your favorite things to "do" while exploring?