|Travel companions at Taj Mahal|
There are more aspects of bringing God on vacation that I wanted to share about my trip in India. As I said before, I traveled with three other people on my trip. That is another way we can demonstrate Christ's love is through our interactions with the people with whom we travel.
My friends can attest that I am certainly no perfect travel partner, and I have my fair share (or more) of weaknesses and eccentricities. However, I do continue to try and remember my faith in some way.
This is one of the first things to disappear when we go on vacation, and this is tricky for me as well. I am a creature of habit and routine, so when I am thrown completely out of that by going on a vacation, then it's difficult to make that time. However, this is the foundation of being refreshed as a Christian. So, what I try to do is make sure I read some during transit, either on the plane, on the bus or in the car. While we were traveling around in India, we had plenty of transit time because there was a lot of traffic and driving throughout India. While part of me wanted to just close my eyes and not engage mentally and just let life slip by, I knew that I probably wouldn't have another opportunity to read, so I pushed myself to read the Bible and pray. God used it to pour grace into my life to be a little more patient when things weren't going my way, and helped me to realize that vacation is not all about me.
|Mirrors at Amber Fort|
Traveling and going on vacation is a lot of fun because we finally get a break from work. Because of that, I find that people are happy to just to do whatever, especially as a family or a group of friends.
This was especially true for this trip. Everyone was pretty happy to just be in India and no one had really strong opinions about what exactly we did. As a result, it sometimes made decision-making a bit painful. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible and consider the needs of others, but I think it's helpful to be decisive.
There were a few occasions where we didn't know where to eat because there were many options, so I just ended up suggesting a place and that's where we ate. I also ended up trying to communicate with the driver the most about what we were doing, because it seemed that no one had a strong opinion about where we were going and didn't really want to attempt to talk to him, so I tried to be helpful by talking to him and expressing our needs as a group- it wasn't easy because he didn't speak English! Being willing to lead can alleviate deer-in-headlight syndrome that often plagues travelers in a new place.
On vacation, I usually eat, sleep, and relax a little too much. Sometimes I even feel like I've wasted my time on vacation because I've jettisoned all the different spiritual activities like church and small group for that week. One way I tried to remedy this in India was to be willing to pray with and for the people on our vacation.
|Humayan's Tomb in Delhi, a 'mini' Taj-Mahal|
When we were about to go back to Kuwait, our friend that showed us around India dropped us off at the airport. We decided to all pray for her while we were there. It must have been a strange sight, seeing four Westerners and an Indian huddled in a circle together with our heads down and our eyes closed! A security officer even asked us if everything was alright. However, we were better than alright because it was a sweet time to thank God for our trip and bless our friend who was so helpful to us. I think that by taking action as Christians to still have fellowship and spiritual bonding is important to stay encouraged and to help love one another.