I’m sitting in the Newark Liberty International Airport. It’s been a long day. Our plane arrived at 4:30 a.m., and a friend and I don’t leave again until 2:30 p.m. We have walked around the entire airport and now we wait for our flight to be called.
As I sit here, I am struck with how easy it would be to offer a quick reflection that attempts to tie together all we saw and experienced during our adventure to the Holy Land. I could talk about seeing the tomb, the crucifixion site, riding on the Sea of Galilee, teaching by the Mediterranean Sea, and so much more. I’m sure the thoughts I would convey would describe the sense of wonder and amazement that I and many others were left with throughout our journey.
Yet, something doesn’t sit well with me in rushing towards trying to put it all into perspective. It just doesn’t seem to be the right time. Sure that time will come and it is needed to understand what I saw and how it reflects to my ministry, my faith, moving forward. I’m struck, though, with a sense to just wait on that.
I need time.
Time to rest to recover from an exhausting and grueling trek around the Holy Land. Time to recover, as well, from a potential injury while walking around the limestone walk ways that were filled with more dimples and bumps than a Nike golf ball.
I need time to look at the pictures and remember where I was and how I felt in those moments. I need time to smile once again at the realization that, yes, I was actually there.
I need time to simply pray. Pray that God will reveal more about what this experience means for me. Pray that God will use this trip to be a blessing to others. Pray that this will not be the last time that I walk those streets.
It’s easy to rush to finish a journey and move on to the next, but today I’m recognizing the need to slow down and sit at the garden some more. So, just as we did yesterday as we walked around the garden where Jesus likely rose from the grave that first Easter morning pondering the significance of that moment, the journey, and our lives, I find myself wanting to remain in the garden this day.
I’ll walk out of the garden in time, but today and perhaps for some days to come I just want to sit and ponder.
I hope you’ll understand.
Note: If you are in the Lawrenceburg, KY area, Claylick UMC will host a discussion session on Sunday, February 19, at 4 p.m., to talk about the trip, and to answer your questions about the Holy Land.