In October 1973 I flew from London to Göteborg to join my first ship. I was sixteen years old and I was alone. Although I was excited, I was also apprehensive at the prospect of spending the next five months away from home. As it happened I did not travel alone. God sent someone to come alongside me at London Airport. Incredibly this person eventually drove me from Göteborg Airport right to the gangway of my ship (click here to read that story).
I have many stories about my first trip to sea, from arriving in Sweden to the month we spent in the Soviet Far East, and then flying home from Japan in March 1974. I took many photographs, wrote and received numerous letters, and recorded various details in a journal that I was required to write as part of my training to become a navigating officer in the Merchant Navy.
I was still excited when I returned home on leave. Those first five months at sea had been an adventure that was completely outside the experience of my friends and family. And I wanted to tell them all about it. Many people had to suffer looking at my grainy instamatic photographs. Although the photographs meant little to them, for the most part folk politely looked and listened as I told stories of my time afloat and ashore. They couldn’t shut me up.
A similar thing has happened at various points in my voyage as a follower of Jesus Christ. There have been times that I have been so excited about my relationship with Jesus and the things He has done for me that it has been impossible to shut me up. But these have been points in my journey rather than an integral part of the journey. Why? Why do I forget to share what God has done for me? Giving testimony is less about how I came to faith and more about what God has done for me on a daily basis since then.
Last week my flight home after a business trip to Stockholm was scheduled to depart at 18:10 hours. At 16:30 I was still in an office in Solna, a good forty minutes from the airport at any time of day, never mind rush hour. Before leaving my hotel that morning I had committed the day to God, especially my journey home. By the time I was finally in a cab heading to the airport I was praying again – this time for a path through the traffic so that I could catch my flight. The cab pulled up outside the terminal building at 17:35 hours. I was through security, passport control, and the gate, and on the aircraft by 18:00 hours. The flight left ten minutes later. I travel all the time. In my experience twenty-five minutes from cab to seat belt fastened is a miracle. It was also an answer to prayer.
What has God done for you this week that you should be talking to others about?
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. (2 Timothy 1:7-8a NLT)