© John Denney 15 July 2002
If you’re on your way to work in your car as you are listening to Radio Leicester this morning, you’re probably noticing that your journey is a bit easier than usual. The traffic is flowing more smoothly than normal. The queues at junctions are shorter. There are no traffic jams outside schools. No school crossing warden is protecting children from the vehicles rushing past. For school’s out. The holidays have started. Teacher friends have been expectantly counting down the days to the end of term, and I guess some mums and dads have been counting down the same days with a little less enthusiasm.
Although the July fortnight is – in my view, sadly – a thing of the past, many families will be taking their annual holiday right now. It’s more likely to be sangria in Seville than shandy in Skegness these days. Nowadays, travel is so easy and relatively cheap that people are taking their holidays in all corners of the world. My own son Christopher used up his holidays by spending the whole of June in Japan, following the World Cup – and he says it was a month-long party out there. The world is truly a smaller place.
And what an opportunity travel offers to experience different cultures and ways of life. I suppose this doesn’t apply if all you want out of a holiday is a day sunbathing and a night in the clubs - pink and drink, no need to think – but for those willing to explore, what fascinating things there are to learn.
Of course, some people get blasť about travel. I well remember the old joke in Lupino Lane’s repertoire: “I went on a cruise round the world next year. This year we’re going somewhere else.” But even that is no longer impossible. There have been a couple of “space tourists” willing to pay £13 or £14 million to go into space. Beyond my pocket, but I’d love to go myself. Maybe the next generation, or the one after that, will be partying on the planets.
Did you know that Jesus gave Christians an actual command to travel? Go to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples, He said. That’s how Christianity spread round the globe and why over a third of the world’s population today is Christian – and rising. Some of the earliest missionaries even struggled to the furthest, wettest, most pagan corner of the Roman Empire, England. Because God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus on a mission to save each of us. It was no holiday for Him.