Grow Deep - The Family Trip Edition
The Family Trip Edition
“Set your minds on things that are above, not
on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2
It is the time of year when many of you have either recently returned from a family trip or are looking forward to some kind of get-away in the near future. Our family tries to take a family trip together for at least a few days every summer or early fall. Over the years of anticipating, planning, and going on these family trips, I have realized that every trip has some elements in common with every other family trip, regardless of the time of year or destination.
1. Every vacation, every family trip begins with a dream—thoughts, vision, and discussion about where to go, when to go, and what to do. It is that picture in your mind’s eye of the place or the thing that you most want to do on your “perfect” get-away.
2. Every vacation requires a certain amount of planning—will you drive? Will you fly? Will you take a tour? Will you work out all the details of the trip yourself? Where will you stay? What will you need to pack? How long will you be gone? When will you need to leave? When will you return? What do you need to take care of at home while you travel? Who is going with you? The list is endless of all the details and plans that have to be worked out to make your vacation a success.
3. Every vacation includes at least one (usually more than one!) “unplanned” element—a flat tire on the road, medicine or a swimsuit forgotten at home, uncooperative weather, sickness, detours, missed connections, accommodations that are less than they appeared to be on the travel website. The list goes on and on!
But, through it all you persevere … you dream the dreams, you make the plans, you manage the unplanned things that happen ... because in the end, the trip together is worth all of it!
In this issue of Grow Deep we will explore our families’ journeys together (whether you are a family of one or two or 22!) from a spiritual point of view. Our spiritual “trips” have many of the same elements that our families’ vacation trips have in common.
1. The Dream - A growing, vital spiritual life for you or your family begins with a vision, a dream, the picture that makes you say, “I want that!” Who doesn’t want a family marked by love, forgiveness, wisdom, and kindness? Scripture gives us the vision, God’s picture of a family who follows Jesus. What is the picture for your family? How do you spend your family time together? Do you spend your time focused on things that make you busy but don’t produce healthy, long-term spiritual growth? How can you begin to focus on the things that produce a flourishing spiritual life for your family?
2. The Plan - Set the plans for spiritual growth and put them into motion. Your family trip involves planning, checklists, and scheduling; why shouldn’t your spiritual journey? You plan for what you want to see become reality. What resources do you need? What obstacles exist? How can you be accountable? How will you stay focused on the vision of your family’s life with Jesus?
The Unexpected - In the same way that every family trip includes some unplanned element, so does a family’s spiritual journey. Planning and a growing knowledge and trust in Jesus will help your family handle those unplanned spiritual detours … the unexpected illness, the lost job, the problems at school, the move to a new place, the unexpected conversation about God. The experiences God allows that take us off the planned script highlight what we are really prepared for.
Let God grow you through your reading and reflecting over these next three weeks. Take time to invest in your family with Jesus!
Thanks to our writers, Sandi Geis (Week 1), Edie Grieshaber, (Week 2) and Pastor Bill Geis (Week 3) and all the others involved in the preparation and production of this issue of Grow Deep.
Adult Ministry Team