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This past week we went on a trip. This vacation was part car trip, part cruise, but all parts involved traveling to new parts of the country, and even to a country we've never visited before (Mexico).
In many ways, each portion of the trip involved small "leaps" of faith. Would the hotels we picked be clean, decent, and not located in bad neighborhoods? Would our car hold up on the long trip (1,900 miles each way) and more importantly, would it survive the mountain driving? Would we make it to the cruise ship in time, and would our car still be there in the parking garage once we returned? When word came that we could get caught in a snowstorm in the mountains, would we make it out of the area in time?
As it turns out, the trip went great. Every step of the way, however, we prayed. We prayed for little things (driving, safe travel in a foreign country) and big things (decent weather). Those prayers were answered, and we dodged an Appalachian snowstorm by day. Although we did end up in a rundown hotel in a bad neighborhood for a few hours (due to exhaustion from driving cross-country), the stay was uneventful in the end. Years ago, I would have never thought to pray about so many little things, but at the end of the week all those little things added up in a big way. We even tried some new foods: lamb, grouper, alligator fritters, and even calamari stir-fry.
As the old axiom goes, "look before you leap". Sometimes, however, looking is not enough. It's one thing to look at a travel brochure, or read about reviews of a hotel on a website. It's another to arrive there and find yourself in a dodgy part of town talking to a clerk who is sitting behind a window made of bulletproof glass.
In short, it's okay to look before you leap, but I'm finding it better to pray before you leap, no matter how small the leap may seem. Or, as Paul puts it in Phillipians 4:6-7 (NKJV): "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."