This time next week I’ll be heading to Brisbane’s Airport Motel to meet up with Michelle and Val for the start of our trip of a lifetime – flying to Sydney to catch the Indian Pacific train, spending about a week in Perth, then hopping on the train for the return trip to Sydney before flying back to Brisbane.
Val and Michelle live in the tiny outback Queensland town of Quilpie, about 960km west of Brisbane – population about 550. We met when I was a social worker in Charleville and did weekly outreach to Quilpie, a distance of 200km away.
Following a weekend trip to Tambo and Blackall in October 2016, during which we had a ton of fun, thoughts about a longer journey began to form – why not the Indian Pacific? And if we did it one way, why not the other? That was Val’s idea – she hasn’t been on a plane since she was 21, forty years ago. Michelle’s never had a holiday, so this is one huge adventure for her. It’s the first time I’ve travelled with friends, and I’m looking forward to this new experience.
Val began counting down sleeps way back in October – there were more than 200 sleeps to go! And now there’s about six to go. Each of us has had moments of anxiety for a variety of reasons.
As I thought about that I was reminded of John Michael Talbot’s beautiful Christian song: Be not afraid, I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest. Even in the joyous times anxiety can grab a hold of us – and even then we can know God’s love, joy and peace in all that we do. It is so good to have his assurance: ‘Be not afraid…I go before you always. Come follow me, and I will give you rest’ And I am sure we will have a ball!