Over the past eight years, I’ve spent more nights in a hotel room than I have in my own home. Such is the life of a business consultant and public speaker, traveling from one city to the next, getting on one plane after another. I only wish I would have brought my camera gear and actually taken the time to go beyond the hotels in which I stayed.
Unfortunately, I rarely leave the hotels in which I stay. A typical trip for me looks like this: Fly in on a red-eye, shuttle to the rental car aisle, drive to the hotel, drop-off the bags, do a quick change of attire, head to the office and then get to the meeting room or banquet room for an on-time 8:00 A.M. kick-off. Sometimes, my hotel is as handy as just walking across the street and sometimes I drive a few miles to get to the corporate office. At the end of the business day, I head back to my room to get caught up on emails and calls and then spend the rest of my night on Skype with the most important people in my life, my wife and two daughters.
This had been the routine for a while, until my youngest daughter asked my wife last year, “why does dad have to travel so much?” Unable to give a good enough answer, I went to work on a solution that would allow me to reduce my travel. So this summer, I formed a team and a company that will virtualize and offer on a subscription-based model, all of the content and coaching I had been delivering in person.
When I told my daughters I would be home a lot more, my eldest had one concern: Would we still be able to enjoy the perks of me being a diamond, platinum, elite member of every travel club out there? Gotta love teenagers! In her defense, those travel perks are nice.
With all of the business travel, you’d think the last thing I’d want to do is get on more planes. But as a family, I don’t think there’s been a year, starting from their birth where we haven’t averaged at least 8 flights a year. And for those family trips, I do pack quite a bit of camera gear primarily because photography keeps me busy while everyone else is sleeping. I love getting up before the sun, scouting the surrounding area for that one perfect moment that will leave a lasting impression of our trip. The more of the world we get to experience, the more amazed I am with God’s creation and his handiwork in all things.
With every moment I capture, I can’t help as I stare through the lens, wondering how amazing heaven will look in comparison to this world that scripture says is “passing away”. I also can’t help but think about the people who are more captivated by this world than the one that is to come.
As beautiful as the images are that we see around us, scripture assures us that the leap from this world to heaven isn’t like going from coach to 1st class. It will be a place where the water is as bright as a crystal, and where tears and death shall be no more. It’s also a place, by God’s amazing grace, that we cannot earn our way to. Fortunately for us, our passage has been paid in full! No amount of points, no special card, and no amount of works can get us access. It’s only by trusting in the life, death and resurrection of Christ and turning from our sin, that we can enter into that eternal rest with our heavenly father.