“A season of suffering is a small assignment when compared to the reward. Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all use it. Use it to the glory of God .”- Max Lucado
One of the things I enjoy most is travel. It offers the opportunity to get a break from the mundanity of everyday life. I can experience new places and see how people around the world live. Do you like to EXPLORE? to travel in or through an unfamiliar country or area in order to learn about or familiarize yourself with it? I’ve met a number of people who have never flown in a plane nor visited a state outside of their own. Others don’t read books nor watch the news. The scope of their awareness and experience is very limited. That’s certainly ok, but there is a lot in this world to EXPLORE—to inquire into, discuss in detail, examine with your five senses, evaluate or search out. Exploration brings value and breadth to our perspectives on life, people, and on the God who created them and this vast universe. Will you decide to explore a new place, endeavor, hobby or even God’s Word more in 2023?
Exploration requires planning. Whether you’re embarking on a trip overseas, investigating a new course of study, or delving as Max Lucado suggests into your own mental, emotional, or spiritual state after experiencing a problem—exploration involves forethought and execution. I appreciated his idea that instead of begrudging or complaining about our situations, we could step outside of ourselves and explore them. What was your motivation for expressing yourself the way you chose to? If you had it to do over again, what might you have done or said differently? How did the other person’s response reflect their own perspectives or issues? Why did their reaction matter so much to you? There are many things we learn from exploring the experiences of others. We can also grow as we consider not only our failures or problems, but our successes and achievements. What practices have proven beneficial to you that you want to continue? How do you want to feel after finishing a new project or exploring a new place?
Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:13a, “I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.” Exploration helped him understand the futility of what humans experience on this earth. He realized to “fear God and keep His commands is the whole duty of man.” (Ecc. 12:13) Moses sent 12 spies to explore Canaan not only to see the blessing that was to be had there, but what it would take to dispossess their enemies and possess God’s promise. Exploration comes before possession. What might you need to explore today?