It happens every time I’m about to take a media trip or head out for a speaking engagement. It’s kind of like the stages of grieving, only I’m creating my own grief, not mourning the loss of a loved one. It usually goes like this:
1. I am pensive over my capabilities and wonder why God has chosen me for this endeavor.
2. I am absolutely thrilled that God did choose me.
3. I accept the fact that I’m going and get serious about the business of preparing, which includes lots of prayer and visualizing myself navigating the whole thing successfully.
4. The craziness of final arrangements, tying of loose ends, and packing sets in and I scream, “What was I thinking!?”
5. I grab hold of the Blessed Mother’s hand, and embark on my journey.
6. I thoroughly enjoy the journey.
7. I return home and give thanks to God for his goodness and mercy.
I’m at #4 right now, as I scurry to pull together the last details before my departure to Jordan as part of the Jordan Tourism Board’s Religious Journalist/Blogger Press Tour April 9-19. I’m at the point at which I scream, “What was I thinking!?” and my family is at the point at which they scream, “Would somebody get her outta here already!?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about going to Jordan and I know that God has called me to this opportunity; I just want to go without having to prepare, fuss, or leave my family. I’m up to my eyeballs in To-Do, Packing, and Don’t Forget Lists, and my head is spinning to remember what I shouldn’t forget and forget what I shouldn’t remember. I miss my family already. And yet, I don’t want to go under-prepared. You can’t have your cake ant eat if too, as they say.
So, I’m appealing to you for help.
It’s been my custom to share my trips with others by taking them along in my backpack. A few days before I leave, I solicit the names and/or petitions of folks who would like my prayers as I visit the various holy places when I travel. I write the names down in a little book that I keep in my backpack wherever I go. Then, I really do pray for those persons and intentions, even if’s it just a simple, “Jesus, help them” as I’m being jostled by crowds or dozing off in the bus.
This helps it sink in that, this trip isn’t about me, but about God and his will. It gets me to take my focus off myself and gives my trips a religious purpose as well as a professional one. It gives me an underlying mission and keeps me motivated. It also keeps me connected to God throughout the trip.
I’m certain God wants me on this trip to Jordan, and I’m also certain that he wants me to pray for you as I go along. Just let me know the names of those you want me to pray for, and I’ll write them in my book. To keep it private, send me an email.
I also hope you’ll come along with me by following my posts here, on Facebook, and Twitter. I’ll be updating all three of those media throughout the trip so that you’ll be able to experience the amazing country of Jordan with me.
Only three days left to departure. Want to come along?
Image: Mount Nebo, WikiCommons