We are leaving this week end for 10 days In Israel...I really cannot believe we are going but we are. People ask me if I am excited and I am...in my own way I guess...not heart pounding, giggly high voice excited for sure. I leave that to Barb. But I can feel it build inside as I think about going to the places I have spent years reading about, places where Jesus may have walked. I was comparing it to traveling here in the U.S. and how when we go south you experience things like civil war history...slavery and such. Places like Savannah that work so hard to keep the historic places alive. Then we have traveled in the North east to Maine, New Hampshire, places like that where you run into some of our earliest history...where the Pilgrims landed...or our founding fathers worked in things like our constitution. Where Revolutionary War battles were fought...and you realize that is only 200 years or so of history.
We are going to a place with thousands of years of history...where 2000 years ago our Lord walked, preached and healed. I recognize I have a hard time wrapping my mind around a place with that much history...and I realize I have a hard time wrapping my mind around serving a God with no beginning and no end...who always was and always will be...and this is the land He made Himself known to an insignificant people group. And I will be there...hmmm.
Someone will lead the tour...take us places of interest...tell us great stories of the area. Hopefully, they will be experts in the history of the land...the biblical history...hopefully they won’t be reading a Triple A booklet of the places you would want to see and do. Wouldn’t that be a drag? Then as the person leads and as we begin to have confidence that they know what they are talking about it will be up to us to listen and to follow their instructions...to look at what they direct us to look at...to hear the story behind what we are looking at. I think it would be kind of easy to be an expert on history...to study and memorize the important things in an area. To even find stories that would make the place kind of come alive again. Maybe easy is not the right word but after you have lead a tour over and over obviously you would not need to keep looking at the visitor guide...you would know.
I wish it was that easy or maybe simple in leading a church...to just memorize the book...and the best places. That once you had the manual down or once you had told the stories a few times people just trusted that you know what you are talking about. I don’t think it is that easy...because we are not dealing with a God that stands still...oh He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow for sure. But he is not just a historical God...He is an everlasting God...an overwhelming God...a huge God. Heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool God!
So I guess like a good tour guide my role is to keep pointing to Him...He is the point of interest...He is the point! He is the God of our ancestors and He is our God now and He is the God of my kids and my grandkids...HE HAS NO END! So unlike the tour guide I really cannot take anyone to a certain place and say this is where God lives...and I have to experience Him for myself everyday...not just point back to an event I had 10 years ago...or a place I prayed one time for a half an hour. I cannot approach God like a history teacher or tour guide...I do enjoy thinking about experiences I have had with God...great stories. God wants to make new stories today...and so do I.
I will enjoy Israel...and I will love the history...and I will connect with the God if today. Sweet!