I spotted it from afar and knew I had to have it. I jerked my car to the curb in a cock-eyed park job and scurried up the driveway before someone beat me to it. I’d say there was no nudging of rival shoppers involved, but I’d be lying.
Three feet from my prize, I lunged for the thing like it was finish line tape. I slapped my hand on its bulging side and grinned. Mine. I snatched up the little beauty, and held it to my chest. Then I spun it around in my hands, turned it upside down and searched for a price tag.
I noticed a young girl collecting money from customers and approached her with my bounty.
“Excuse me,” I said, with a forced air of indifference (age-old garage sale strategy). “Did you have a price in mind for this?” I held my breath, a complete wimp when it comes to haggling. Please say something low, please say something low.
She looked blankly at the object in my hands and turned toward the house. “Hey, Mom!”
“How much is the world?”
I pursed my lips to keep from grinning.
Mom didn’t hesitate. “Fifty cents!”
“Fifty cents,” the girl said, in case I was legally deaf.
I dug into my pocket. Two quarters. It was fate! I pulled them out, flicked off the blue jean fuzz and pressed them into her hand. I walked to my car, clutching my beloved globe, fighting the urge to skip and squeal.
The metaphor was not lost on me, no sir. I had the whole world. In my hands. For 50 stinkin’ cents.
Nine Years Later…
I sat on the living room floor, legs apart, absentmindedly spinning a globe with my fingertips. Look at all the colors, I thought. So many countries. And all that blue. Massive oceans between huge continents. It’s all so… big. Look at all the tiny islands—hundreds of them. What are they like? Who lives there?
My mind drifted back a decade to a 10-week student teaching stint on the island of Okinawa, Japan. I sighed. And longed to go back. That one experience on foreign soil whetted my appetite for globe-hopping—for life. I hadn’t been overseas since.
My eyes wandered to one of many bookshelves in our house. I devour books—all kinds. But especially those written by world travelers, books about pilgrimages to distant lands, stories of missionaries and the people they help.
I craved that for myself and my loved ones. Traveling the globe. Tagging along on an African safari, seeing places Jesus walked, drinking in the stunning green of Ireland, sharing my faith, re-visiting my favorite old Okinawan haunts, kissing babies in third world orphanages.
I had the itch. And no way to scratch it.
Two years after that…
Thank you, God, for this incredible gift. I don’t deserve it. Not for a second. And I know this is about so much more than scratching an itch to see the world. I want you to open my eyes to see where you’re at work, and I want to join you there. Whether it’s across the globe or across the street or across my kitchen table.
Please help me to honor you as I prepare and while I’m there. Help me to humble myself as I ask for support. Help me to surrender all my plans and dreams to you. I’m yours, Lord.
p.s. If you missed yesterday’s post, Gabe and I are going to Cambodia on a missions trip with a group from our church July 7-17. If you’d like me to e-mail you a copy of our support letter, just click here. Thanks!
What dreams do you have? I’d love to know!