Travelers are often marked by their free-spirits and carefree attitude that doesn't compare or worry about what everyone else is doing. But somehow, in the bunk-bed conversations in the dorm rooms of hostels, I hear the same conversation over and over again - "How long are you traveling for? What is your route?"
Sometimes this is just honest interest, but often I have found that these questions quickly become the platform for comparison, judgement, and pride or insecurity. Suddenly one's travels are just not 'up-to-par' with everyone elses. You should be traveling longer, to less-touristy places, moving slower, more spontaneously. When you have left your family, friends, education, and career behind, it's easy to find your identity wrapped up completely in the one thing you feel you have left: your travels and adventures.
And this is such a shaky ground....unless you have Jesus. Because if Jesus is your Rock, you don't need pebbles. You dont' need travel...an important title, a successful career, or the approval of those around you, to prove your value as a person. If you understand your value in Christ, then there is no more struggle.
Jesus offers peace that passes all understanding. He wipes out all need for comparison and competition, because He is enough. I have seen and even participated in this struggle lately among the backpacker community, but I don't doubt that this is present in other areas of life - People comparing themselves to other parents, professionals, supermodels... But as I am learning over and over again in my travels, authenticity is so much more beautiful than the replication of something or someone else. Sadly, our tendency as humans is to compare ourselves to one another, when our Creator has so beautifully designed each of us uniquely.
I love Jesus and what He has to teach me while I wander around the planet. My other favorite things include: foreign languages, yoga, hiking,
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