[I recently returned from an 11-day tour of Israel. This is the second in a series
about my trip. Here’s the first mid-trip update if you’re interested.]
For eleven days I woke up to a sprawling breakfast spread before climbing the steps
to our behemoth of a tour bus.
My first morning home I was thrilled to see my kids’ eyes slowly blinking in the morning light and their hair disheveled and crazy, but I did feel a slight pinch. “Um … where’s the breakfast buffet, people? Oh, that’s right. I’m the person who stands behind the counter and makes the breakfast here. Let me get to work on that.”
Throughout those many days, my eyes lifted from the necessary needs of life (i.e. keeping my children alive, clothed, and educated) and the unnecessary distractions that I allow to creep in. The to-do list that constantly scrolls in the back of my mind like a teleprompter stopped. And even though it’s amazing and healthy to go on any vacation, it was life-changing to allow my spirit to marinate in God’s Word while my mind relaxed. The majority of my hours were spent hearing, seeing, and experiencing truths of the Bible.
I discovered things I’d never heard before about Old Testament prophecies and the connection between them and Jesus’ words. I sat and soaked in the way He met people where they were, and how He affirmed the law of Moses while bringing in His value of the individual. I stood in the place where Jesus’ cross most likely would have hung, and my eyes filled with tears that He would endure the torture and humiliation for a person like me.
My notebook pages are filled with scrawlings about Abraham, David, and Jesus with Scripture references and asterisks so I remember to come back to this thought or another, but my notebook doesn’t have enough pages to hold the things I learned.
My most important souvenir is something that didn’t get wrapped in my suitcase, but a fresh fascination with the Bible.
Every day, as we sat on rocks on a mountaintop or the steps of the Temple Mount or walked through busy Jerusalem streets, I marveled at our leaders’ sweeping Bible knowledge. (It’s seriously off the charts.) But even more impressive than their understanding about the meaning of this Hebrew word or that Old Testament prophecy was the hunger that sparked from their eyes for learning more.
I want that in my life. I want to inspire that in my kids.
One of our leaders said, “I don’t bring people to the holy land to walk where Jesus walked. I bring people here to walk like Jesus walked.” So I’m home cooking breakfast and washing clothes and combing disheveled hair like I did before, but my heart is refreshed and my priorities are reshuffled. I’m ready to study my Bible with new eyes and walk like Jesus walked while I serve and love the people in my life.