Acts 20: 14 “When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.”
Most people spend their whole lives in the same area, street or even house than those like me who have lived away from home for nearly 10 years.
One of my favourite places in the world is a small island of 25 square miles with approximately 65,000 people living there, the island of Guernsey. For someone like me who has moved geographically so much in life that I could do a PhD in moving, the fact that some people on that island have not visited other areas of the 25 square miles is a fact that I cannot grasp!
Yet everyone understands that though we may or may not be a nomad all of us know the phrases, “this is where I’ve come from” and “where I’m heading next” as speaking of a journey of life that we are on. If the journey was described as a book it would contain many chapters with a variety of activity of twists and turns.
And so, we move into verses that will speak of Assos and Mitylene and in the next few days will include Chios, Samos and Miletus.
It would be easy to skip these verses and possibly miss the reason why they are written and something very helpful to the first century and 21st century reader.
To the Jewish mind as they read of Pauls travels and the journey of the Gospel they would also be thinking of another journey parallel to this: the travel story of the Israelites coming out of Egypt into the Promised Land.
To those from a Gentile life they would know all too well of the 2 great travel stories of the ancient world, “The Odyssey” and the “Ilyiad”. Homer wrote a story of Odysseus who returned home from the Trojan war travelling from one place to the next with all of lifes ups and downs. The other, Ilyiad, is a similar war journey of personal battle and struggle.
Here is Paul, the new hero, on a journey.
And the story connects with the reader, with you and me, who even 2 centuries later are on a similar journey of life.
Let us not hold back, but let us explore. Don’t wait for confirmation to move, just move. Why not? You have more than 25 square miles to explore. There is a whole world out there. Does God want me to go on a mission trip? Read the Bible … YES! Does God want me to cross the boundaries of where you live, to meet new people, to experience new things? Read the Bible … YES!
One day this journey will end on earth so live that journey today!