A Geography of Faith

God designed our hearts and minds to lock on to certain places.

When I walk into a room and forget what I’ve come to do, I turn around and walk back in. It’s funny how that jogs my memory.

When I drive past a cemetery, my mind almost involuntarily remembers the graveside services I’ve attended there.

When I visit Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, I have flashbacks to the birth of our kids.

I smile every time I see the pedestrian bridge across the Cumberland River in Nashville where I proposed to Leslie.

I cringe whenever I pass the dentist’s office.

We recognize that, in one sense, there is no such thing as “holy land.” The rocks in Israel aren’t sacrosanct—but there’s still something special about the fact that our heroes of faith lived and died there. We know that the church building is built with the same drywall and steel as the firehall, but the weddings and funerals and baptisms and worship services have a way of sanctifying it in our memory.

One thing I’ve noticed while reading through the Old Testament this year is just how prevalent the “geography of faith” is. Abraham and Jacob set up altars to remember God’s providence in specific places. Joseph was adamant that his bones not be left in Egypt, but taken back to the land of promise.

This principle could be abused and idolized, but used correctly, it’s helpful.

It’s wise to intentionally remember the times and the places when God has blessed you.

Here’s an exercise to try: draw a map of the big God-moments in your life, and let the geography of your faith remind you of the journey God has brought you on so far.