Suki and I recently boarded a bus bound for….?

We had no idea where we were going. 

Really…we had no idea!

We were on a “Mystery Tour.” A friend had recommended we try the trip with Stanton Tours. The whole concept intrigued us, so met with the owner and operator of Stanton Tours to get more information. We actually got very little information—intentionally. She told us what type of clothing to bring and that it would take two days to get there, but she smugly kept the destination a secret.

Suki and I were fascinated by the proposal.

“It will be an adventure,” I said.

“Let’s do it,” Suki shot back.

So, we paid the fee that covered our hotels, meals and travel expenses.

Two months later, with our suitcases packed, we escaped the August heat in Tennessee and climbed onto the air-conditioned luxury coach with a driver, our two hosts and 48 other adventurers.

The door swooshed shut on bus J-2911 and we hit the road, heading north. 

Our host pointed to the bus number and reminded us of Jerimiah 29:11. “I know the plans I have for you…”

Nevertheless, we weren’t satisfied. We all wanted to know more. “Where are  we going?”

The tour guides smiled sweetly. Even the friendly driver was tight-lipped.

We passed Louisville and kept going north. We were literally and figuratively in the dark when we passed Cincinnatti and stopped for the night. “Will we keep going north, or turn east or west?”

Boarding the bus the next morning, we querried, “Is it Chicago? … Cleveland? … Niagara Falls?”

Silence—with a smile. 

They wouldn’t even tell us where we were stopping for meals! At Indianapolis we veered east. Chicago was out. Then we swept past Detroit—and still we headed north.

“What’s up here?” I asked.

The wheels stopped rolling when we came to Lake Michigan.

Mystery solved.

Our destination: the cool, scenic region of the Upper Penninsula, Mackinac City and Mackinac Island, Michigan.

While our friends and famlies suffered in the heat back home, we wore jackets in 60-degree weather as we sailed through the Soo Locks, toured Fort Michilimackinac, shopped in Mackinac City and ferried to Mackinac Island. This unique 3.8 square mile land mass sits in Lake Huron between the upper and lower penninsulas of Michigan. The community offers the visitor a step back in time at the Victorian Grand Hotel. Cars are not allowed on the island so all transportation is by horse-drawn carriage or bicycle—or on foot. Boasting a full time population of less than 800, the population swells to over 11,000 in the summer months because of tourism. In the late 19th century the island became a popular tourist destination. Today 15,000 visitors a day arrive during peak season to visit the magical land of Victorian homes, manicured lawns, flowers, scented shops, horses and carriages.

In the end, our magical mystery tour brought us to a picturesque and historic part of the country unknown to many folks (including myself). We met some delightful folks and made many new friends along the way. All in all the trip was a huge sucess; however, it all began with a step of faith.

Often God asks us to take a step of faith, too. Sometimes all He wants is for us to hop on the bus. 

The problem is, because we don’t really know where the bus is going, we’re hesitant to get on board. Fearing the unknown, some of us will turn away from the open door altogether.

Learning to trust God is a process. It starts with one small step. With each stride forward we can see His kindness to meet our needs. As we experience His faithfulness, our trust generally grows stronger. If we are willing, He will take us to some delightful destinations—places we never imagined.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t have doubts along the way. No matter how often we do it, stepping into the unknown will always bring a bit of uncertainty. However, over time that lack of confidence will begin to reshape itself into excitement and anticipation of what’s to come.

I recently heard someone say, “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.” Try as we may to plan our days and keep everything in our lives lined up like dominoes, nothing in life is guaranteed. Dominoes can fall. So, let’s begin to live with an openness to the new adventures ahead. Let’s not let fear keep us from the extraordinary God-moments waiting just around the corner.

The enemy wants to keep us confined to a self-made cell of doubt. He keeps us comfortable and lies to us about the unknown. May I suggest this? Let’s begin to push back and push out. Let’s make our choices based on God’s great promises, not our tiny fears.

Don’t be afraid to explore the unknown. We may hit a few bumps along the way, but we’ll make new friends, have wonderful adventures and see God’s faithfulness in every step along the way. After all, the truth is this: 

What lies ahead will always be a mystery.

So why don’t you join me on the bus? We’ll have a wonderful time!