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“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…”

February 16, 2011

Well, not exactly. Anyone who knows me well knows that I thrive on the creative adrenaline that comes only after considerable procrastination. Some of my best sermons have been rewritten in the early predawn hours (or moments) prior to being delivered. The same goes with packing…not that throwing clothes and a power converter in a bag requires much creativity, but I figure if I can’t find it and pack it within 20 minutes then I probably don’t need it anyway. In all fairness I started packing a month ago…as I packed up my house to move again. Anything I found that looked like it wanted to go to Israel got thrown in a box labeled “Holy Land”. Maybe they’ll just let me take the box on the plane.

Nevertheless, with the countdown to takeoff less than 24 hours, I’ve never been calmer about leaving for a trip. Perhaps because I’m getting used to this whole traveling thing (“used to” being synonymous with “addicted to”), or perhaps because everything that can go wrong with this trip has already occurred (God willing). The original trip was supposed to include an extra week’s stay touring Egypt. Back before Thanksgiving there was a little issue with our travel agent and the extension got canceled, then rebooked, then canceled, then…well you get the idea. Just as things were looking hopeful with available rooms and flights when and where we needed them, protests broke out in Egypt. After much intense waiting, Mubarak stepped down. Long story short…no tourists are being let into Egypt at this time. Now especially would be a pretty incredible time to visit, to see history in the making, and to celebrate with the people of Egypt at having their voices heard. Perhaps another time.

Instead I’m excited about the opportunity to truly focus my time and attention on the real reason I’m going…to walk where Jesus walked. Our ten days in Israel will include many locations I have been reading and studying about for years: Bethlehem where Jesus was born, the Jordan River where he was baptized, the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed, and so many more.

I am grateful to the conference and my church for this opportunity to travel with my fellow ordinands and our Bishop as we explore the grounds that inspired the scriptures that changed so many lives forever. I look forward to what will be revealed to me and the relationships that will be strengthened as we explore it all together. This anticipation is bittersweet since many of my colleagues and dear friends whom I originally imagined traveling with are now unable to do so. I pray they get to make the trip soon enough and have the unbelievable experience I keep hearing so much about. I have yet to travel abroad when God ceased to amaze me by expanding my knowledge of the world, showing God’s love for all creation, and reminding me of my part in spreading it. I’m sure yet again God will not disappoint.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    February 16, 2011 12:59 pm

    What a fabulous opportunity and trip. I’m so glad you are blogging about it. Take us along 🙂
    I would love to go one day.

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