Some say they were born to shop, but I believe my wife was born to travel. She’s always ready for a road trip and being married to her I have become a world traveler.

There’s really nothing like a good road trip to get out and venture beyond your comfort zone. Except when you have an absolute cross-the-T-and-dot-the-I traveling companion who feels they have to see exactly where they are going every mile of the way. Not only is your whole trip micromanaged, but every movements compared in relationship to your final destination and it better be on the map.

Structure, though important, if not kept in perspective can kill creativity. Andre Gide said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

Real risk takers often are thought of as crazy at first, but once their idea can be contextualized into meaningful life-changing experience for the masses suddenly they become an acceptable, albeit eccentric, creative innovator.

For instance, I wonder if Christopher Columbus had a perfect map of the new world before he set sail to discover and go where no man had ever gone before? The fervent and prevailing belief of his time was the world was flat and if you go too far you would fall off the edge.

Even though he may not be the first one to land in the Americas, Columbus still goes down in history for having the courage to follow his convictions. It’s OK to be passionate and zealous about something as long as you have the resolve to lose sight of what you can see on the map in order to stay the course to prove the validity of your new discovery that’s not on the map.

Is this some kind of leadership by reckless endangerment? If the basis of your concept is of a creation design order then it becomes more of a calculated risk than a reckless assumption that you’re just wandering off the map and headed nowhere.

The slaves in Egypt thought Moses lost his mind when he told them they were going to leave Egypt for a land none of them ever had seen and they were going to take all the gold in Egypt with them. They had no map and there were no travel centers to stop and ask for directions along the way.

Likewise, Harriet Tubman, a trailblazer and pioneer for the underground railway, definitely went off the map to free hundreds of slaves and lead them to freedom. Against all odds and even in direct opposition to the counsel and warnings of friends, she returned again and again to be a modern-day Moses, snatching her family and friends from the evils of slavery.

These, great seemingly, un­­­attainable exploits were accomplished without road maps and, to be perfectly honest, if either of our slave rescuers would have had a perfect map that provided them with the whole picture of the complete journey, then they both would be no-names. Instead they became first-class world travelers, righteous risk takers, who made the history books because they were willing to venture to the edge and help others discover new places.

People who have lived the most meaningful lives often refer to the times they were on a road trip and traveled off the map. Play-it-safe people get play-it-safe results.

There is a point when we all face that journey off the map. The question is: Will we demand to see more before we travel or will we be willing to become true world travelers who share and exercise the courage of our conviction?

Would you like to take a road trip without your GPS? You might make a discovery or take a calculated risk that changes the world and helps other sojourners find their way on their road trip. May you have the courage to travel beyond the maps of your comfort zone.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clincal pastoral counselor. He can be reached at tj@ yourbestlifenowcounseling.com.

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