We just passed by Memorial Day and soon will arrive at the Fourth of July. That celebration marks the midpoint of summer break and will have us pushing the gas towards the finish line of summer, a.k.a. Labor Day weekend. Hopefully, amid the picnicking, ball playing, swim parties, and BBQ’s, you will find a moment to get away for some personal holiday time. Everyone needs a little R & R (it’s supposed to be recreation and relaxation), right? The reality is, summertime is the busiest driving time of the year as families pack up their vans and motorcycles, head out to see mountains, beaches, ball parks, and even bless Aunt Betty with the annual drop in.
Here is a tip that you might not get from AAA. Perhaps you should whisper a quick prayer or ask someone to pray for you to have “traveling mercy” to ensure safety from car trouble, speeding tickets, collisions, or hooligans trying to make off with your spending money. It never hurts to ask God to pay a little more attention when we are anticipating being out of our element and away from our comfort zone. It might be our time to take a break, but God better be on the ball with giving us bumper-to-bumper protection during the busy days of summer. You better not load one thing in your car before assuring that you have your “traveling mercy” certificate safely in the cubby in case something dangerous is waiting ahead to get you.
Of course God doesn’t increase His watch over us or elevate His mercy for us because we have gone on a trip. His mercy is ever present. His mercy never ceases. His mercy never fails. God’s mercy is active and aware of us in all of our moments and meanderings. His mercy just keeps going and flowing in every area of life. If God didn’t give us “non-traveling mercy,” we would never survive to ask for the literal “Traveling Mercy” that we think we need. God’s mercy is the same yesterday, today, and forever more because God is the same in that same space.
Don’t wait for a tragedy or a trial to ask God to give you mercy. Don’t put off a moment today where you are looking to find where God’s mercy is at work in your life. Assume that when you breathe, when you walk, when you smile, or when you have a clear thought it is because the mercy of God has been at work in your life since the moment you were conceived. His mercy has been calling you and caring for you so that you might not be an occasional consumer of God’s goods and services. Instead, His mercy is extended so you might become His child who lives each moment aware of the love of a Father.
Instead of asking God for traveling mercy over your personal adventures, make the choice to travel with God and see how His mercy is changing the world and changing your life without a unique trip. Don’t ask God for traveling mercy. Ask him for mercy. The scriptures tell us that He is rich or abundant in having and giving mercy to all. That is good news for us whether we are in the car, on a plane, in the pew, or sitting in the woods by the fire. Be thankful for the mercy of God in your life in the places you can clearly see it and in all the places where you are scratching your head asking “what happened?”
The only traveling mercy I affirm is the mercy of God that traveled from the beginning of time through the chaos of nothing and right into the new creation to give breath and purpose to humanity. That mercy is still traveling towards us and with us to declare that the kingdom of God has come and that the kingdom of God is here. It also meanders with us through all of life’s journey – summer vacation and once in a lifetime pilgrimages – whether we ask for it or not. Mercy is who God is.
God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)