Our Trip of a Lifetime Fell Short

by | February 2024 | Encouragement, From My Heart to Yours

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Our Trip of a Lifetime Fell Short

Recently my husband and I were gifted a trip to Spain.

Yes, you read that right. And yes, I still can’t believe it. I have only been out of the country four times in my 50 years. Two of those times were mission trips to Central America. The third was a quick drive into Canada while serving our ministry and the local church in Michigan. The fourth was an anniversary gift-trip to Mexico. I have only ever dreamed of traveling to Europe. So, wow! Wow! WOW!

There are many things I want to share with you about this trip, like how it was our first time on a flight with meals and ice cream bars and sleep masks and Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Agatha Christie movies and leg room for days.

You can’t take us anywhere…

I really want to share with you the story of how this gift-trip came about, but that’s for another day.

Today, let me just share with you something the Lord taught me while on this “trip of a lifetime.”

I was sitting on the balcony of an apartment sipping delicious coffee, watching the sun rise over the Mediterranean Sea on our first morning in Altea, Spain. The weeks and months leading up to this moment were painful and wearying. I took a deep breath, thanking the Lord for this time and place that would certainly bring rest and healing for me, for my husband. In that moment I found myself whispering, “This is perfection.”

The Lord immediately spoke to my heart. Becky, this ISN’T perfection.

My husband and I spent the next 2 weeks resting, enjoying, hiking, sunning, strolling, eating, laughing, talking.

We watched sunrises and sunsets. We hiked to a lighthouse, overlooking the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. We hiked to some beautiful waterfalls. We ate out every day, choosing a different restaurant each time.

We flew to Manchester, England, ate fish and chips in a pub, and watched a Man City game in Etihad Stadium. We flew to London and strolled along the Thames, enjoying sights we had only ever seen on television.

We spent time on the beach, in the sun, reading, listening to music, people-watching.

So much of our time was beautiful and enjoyable. So many new-to-us things we had never seen before.

But from the moment the Lord spoke to my heart that this isn’t perfection, I noticed something wasn’t quite right—every day, every place, every experience, every view; everything fell a bit short.

My morning coffees watching the sun rise over the Mediterranean were interrupted by the sounds of trash trucks on the street below. No matter how much we slowed our pace to a stroll, my need-to-be-replaced basketball-knees hurt with every step. Our great seats at the Man City game found us right next to an annoying dad who droned on and on about what he didn’t like at the stadium. Our grief followed us to Europe. Our impatience with one another followed us to Europe. Our stubbornness with one another followed us to Europe.

The Lord’s, “Becky, this isn’t perfection,” was a reminder that He has put eternity into our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We all have a longing for something more, something better—in every relationship, in every experience, no matter where we go on this earth. That longing is normal. Everything falling a bit short is good and right. We were made for eternity where everything will be perfection! So, the best day, the best place, the best experience, the best view, the best food, the best relationship, the best anything here, this side of heaven, will fall short because all of it pales in comparison with what He has for us in glory.

I guess I just want to remind you that if you long for something more, something better, enjoy all that He has for you here, but get excited! What’s coming will knock your socks off! Your very best days; your very best experiences; your favorite places on this earth; the most incredible views; the very best food; your very best relationships all fall short. They pale in comparison with what He has for you! And that’s ok. Don’t put your hope in the things here. We were made for something more, something better. We were made for eternity.

Our “trip of a lifetime” was wonderful, but it fell short and left us longing for more, for better. It left us longing for eternity.

I. Can’t. Wait!