I just received my fourth passport in the mail, and it sparked a little reflection. Most of you know that passports are valid for ten years. I received my first passport in 1991 and have kept them current since then. My new slick and shiny passport will expire in 2031 and I will be 76 years old. Hence the reflection…
My international journeys are interesting but not vacations. They are with a purpose to share the love of Jesus with others. These journeys, especially since I am a little older, are not some adventures to the other side of the world. To me, they are a journey with Jesus as every day is. I do not see myself as some daring Indiana Jones with a jungle suit. I try to dress functional and blend in with the population as best I can. I just try to be a servant of Jesus.
When I received my latest passport and saw the expiration date, I immediately calculated my age when it expired (76). Ouch, that hurts! Then my little mind began to think about my next passport which would expire at the age of 86. Now, you are thinking I am too optimistic. Only God knows…
In 2018, I had a heart attack and received one stent. At my first follow-up appointment with my cardiologist, I asked him about any concerns with my international travels. He emphatically said, “Go!” I appreciated his encouragement, but I was planning to go anyway. Just so you know, you can go to Heaven from anywhere!
I have rarely gone on a trip without some apprehension. Once when I was travelling to the other side of the world alone, a dear brother told me that I was fearless. I almost laughed in his face because inside I often feel like a scared little boy. I can do anything with Jesus, without Him I can do nothing. I do not do great things; I merely serve a Great God who does great things.
Passports have an expiration date and so do I. My expiration date is not as predictable as my passport’s date. Now as I journey in life, I realize more than ever that my next breath and heartbeat are in the hands of God, and I am content with that.
It may sound crazy, but I want my life to end with unfinished tasks. I want to die peering over the horizon. At the close of my life when my family tie my loose ends together, there are a few things I hope they find. I hope they find a book I have not finished reading, a book I have not finished writing, an uncompleted project, a scheduled flight that must be cancelled, an order for a grey t-shirt to give away, tomatoes that need to be gathered, a half-drunk cup of coffee, and muddy boots. Everything else hopefully will be sealed and delivered.
I pray to live until I die, not dying until I leave earth. Most of all I want my journey to be with Jesus and with all who walk that road with Him.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. / For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Words of Jesus, Matthew 16:24-25 NKJV).
Whatever is considered lost is nothing but dust anyway!
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt