Category Archives: Musings

Fresh and seasoned thoughts about the practice of Sabbath.

I Found the Darkest Place in Jerusalem

As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:‭20‬ NIV)

When I get to this passage in the future, I can say “Been There, Done That.” 

If they would have sold T-Shirts at the end of it, I would have bought one. 

  
This tunnel that was dug during the reign of King Hezekiah is an engineering marvel. Hezekiah ordered the construction of this tunnel in order to fight off the siege of the Assyrians. A guide told me that the construction of the tunnel took only 18 months. Unbelievable!

This tunnel was hand chiseled through limestone. Most of it is high enough for a tall Texan to stand in but long stretches are just 4 feet. If it were any narrower I would have had to go on a severe diet in order to make it all the way through. 

  
Hayden, Clay Pope, and myself made the 1700 foot long journey in about 20 minutes. 

   
 
A few times, while traveling through the tunnel, we turned our flashlights off. It was eerie in the blackness , hearing nothing but our own breathing and the dripping of water from the ceiling.

Previous Post from this Trip:

Different Hats and Funny Dresses

Baptism in the Jordan River

Jerusalem

Greece 

Following Peter and Paul Through Rome. 

Standing on Hallowed Ground 

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Different Hats and Funny Dresses

 We have traveled through a menagerie of faiths and traditions on our tour of the Holy Land. Every now and then we have to attire ourselves to fit the tradition of a specific holy site. 

Nabi Samuel and the first Yamaka

Our first stop this morning was at a synogouge commemorating the Prophet Samuel. 

   
As we entered the synogogue the men recieved a yamaka. It was a one size fits all kind of thing, and we got to take it with us after we were through. 

 
We climbed to the top of the synogogue through this ancient staircase. 

   
When the crusaders arrived on this hill in 1099, they called it Mons Gaudi, or in English, Mountian of Joy. It was given this name becaus this was the first hill from which they could see Jerusalem. It does make for an impressive view in the morning. 


The Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Funny Robes

When we went to the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, it was the ladies who had to don the extra clothes. The mosque sits atop a hill which contains the traditional site of the Cave of Machpelah. Abraham bought the cave and the field associated with it from a Hittite in order the bury Sarah. 

The ladies in our group were give robes to cover their heads, their arms, and their legs to their ankles. I thought they looked like Kids dressed up for Halloween, but there was no candy to be found here. 

  

This is the marker for Abraham’s tomb. There is also a marker for Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah.  Jacob’s wife Rachel was buried somewhere near Bethlehem. 

These are Jacob’s last instructions to his sons: 

Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites. ” When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people. (‭Genesis‬ ‭49‬:‭29-33‬ NIV)

  

Hayden even had to get in on the action at the Hebron site. Any male not wearing pants had to put on a covering down to their ankles as well. 

Did I mention we had to take off our shoes?
 

My Favorites

The memory of the Jordan River baptism will be a treasure for the rest of my life. They gave us baptismal robes on our way down to the water. We are bringing them home with us later this week.    
We stopped in Jericho just for a bit. A man came and put this on my head and befor so could say, “Get away from me creep” he dropped his price for this nice headgear to a very good deal. Just before our bus drove off, he offered all the rest of his head scarfs to everyone else on the bus for an even better deal. I was only a little singed. But I did feel like a good Samaratain. 

The backdrop for the picture below is a monastery on the road between Jericho and Jerusalem, the same path the Good Samaratain would have taken. It’s also the road King David would have refered to when writing about the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.”

  
My Standby

When I get back home, I think I’ll stick with the baseball hat. I think Sam Houston State Universiry, the school my son and my money will be going to in the Fall, should offer my some advertising money for representing the SHSU brand all over the world. A free hat from time to time would be nice. 

   

Catching Up

Here are the other posts from this trip:

 
Fish For Breakfast?

Baptism in the Jordan River

Jerusalem

Greece 

Following Peter and Paul Through Rome. 

Standing on Hallowed Ground 

Fish for Breakfast? Really?

I’ve always been curious about one story in the Bible. Do you remember when the disciples went fishing together a few days after the resurrection? They were on the Sea of Galilee when the Lord called out to them. When they came to Jesus, with a miraculous catch of fish, he prepared them a breakfast of fish and bread. 

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. (‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭10-14‬ NIV)

Guess what I’ve been eating for breakfast. 

  
Yeah, that’s 4 different kinds of fish there. Whole sardines that taste like sardines. Two different kinds of sardine like filets. And the fish steaks on the top of the plate are smoked (these were my favorite). 

I always assumed that Jesus prepared fish for breakfast because that was the food they had on hand. It turns out that they eat a lot of fish around here. I haven’t seen bacon in days.  

Capernaun is the place Jesus would have called his hometown as an adult. There are many structures still there from the first century. 

  
Much of the action of the Gospels takes place along the banks of the Sea of Galilee. 

 

It’s actually not a “Sea” but don’t tell the people around here that. It seems to make them upset. It’s the size of a modest sized lake in Texas and full of fresh water. 

 This boat sunk in the Sea of Galilee sometime around the first century.   During a drought the level of the water went down enough to reveal this boat. Most of it was buried beneath mud. It’s about 30 feet long. We can imagine Peter and James and John fishing from a boat just like this one before Jesus called to them to join him for breakfast. 
When we get back to the States I’ll go back to having bacon and eggs for breakfast. But for now, I’ll stick to the fish. 

  
Posts from Previous Days

Baptism in the Jordan River

Jerusalem

Greece 

Following Peter and Paul Through Rome. 

Standing on Hallowed Ground 

On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand…

Here are a few highlights from our day in Israel.  

Masada 

This morning we started out in Masada. The best way I can describe Masada is to call it the Alamo of Ancient Israel. Here, around 960 Jewish rebels held their ground against an overwhelming Roman force for months. When the Romans finally broke through the defensive walls, the Jews chose to kill themselves rather than suffer Roman death, imprisonment, humiliation, or slavery. 

   

This is scaled model of what Masada looks like. We looked down on a coup of planes flying by.

  

The little brown square is the remains if a Roman camp.

  

THE LONG RIDGE LEADING UP TO THE PLATUE IS A MAN MADE SEIGE RAMP. THE ROMANS USED PRISONERS OF WAR TO CONSTRUCT THIS RAMP THAT WENT UP 1,300 FEET.

 

The En Gedi

 
  
 
We are standing in a desert, 1,200 feet below sea level while at En Gedi. The earth opens up here and flows with water. King David used this location a number of times because of the natural caves in the cliffs. There are wild goats here called ibex. 

I wonder if a place like this helped inspire David to write:

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. (‭Psalms‬ ‭42‬:‭1‬ NASB)

  

Qumran

   
 
In the time of Jesus, there was a community of people called the Essenes. They were men who chose to separate themselves from the wickedness of the world and prepared themselves for the kingdom of God. They practiced baptism (twice a day for every member of the community).  They also copied scripture onto papyrus scrolls. Some of the oldest copies of the Old Teatament were discovered in at Qumran. The Essenes left a number of scrolls in caves inside earthen vessels. A shepherd boy found them accidentally in the cave above. 

The Dead Sea

   
 
The Dead Sea was a once in a lifetime kind of experience. I don’t know if Jesus would have been caught here, covering himself with mud, but then again, he could make his own healing mud (John 9:6). 

They say the minerals in the mud of the Dead Sea is great for your skin. If that’s true, we should be good for the rest of our lives. 

The floating is hard to describe. If it wasn’t for the 107 degree heat, or the sting of the salt, I could have taken a great nap there. 

The Jordan River

This was the highlight of the day, if not the entire trip. 

   

      
   
The Jordan reminds me of the Bosque River back home. I love that we were able to experience this together. Hayden has gained a lot of experience baptizing with me in the prison ministry. This was our experience of worship on the Lord’s Day.

I’m looking forward to the baptisms we have at home over the next couple of weeks. I’ll add some water from the Jordan to the water we normally pour up to remind everyone about the connection between Jesus’ baptism and our own baptism. 

The Shadow of the Valley of Death 
    
The conclusion of our day was the best time to take in the section of road that lies between Jerusalem and Jericho. There is a stretch of this path where Jesus would have been talking about in the story of the Good Samratian. Also, David mentions this path when he talks about the “Shadow of the Velly of Death.”  As the sun sets in the west, long dark shadows overtake the little valleys between the hills. These dark places would have been perfect for raiders and robbers to hide. 

 
I met a new friend while we were visiting Jericho today. He told me that a person as important as I am should wear a scarf fit for a king. I could not disagree with such an honorable fellow. So for the price of a healthy small camel, I recieved a very nice new headdress. I took it off in order to pass back through Israeli security checkpoints. 
 

Maybe it’s best to end with a Psalm:

 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭1-6‬ NASB)

Posts from Previous Days

Jerusalem

Greece 

Following Peter and Paul Through Rome. 

Standing on Hallowed Ground 

Jerusalem is Nothing Like I Thought it would Be

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Lift up your gates and sing; Hosanna in the highest, Hosanna to your King.”

Jerusalem is not what I pictured in my mind. 

Jerusalem is not just a “city on a hill,” it is a city of hills. 

You can see in the first picture below the steep grade we traveled as we went down toward the Garden of Gesthemane.  The path we walked is the path Jesus would have taken as he approached the city of Jerusalem prior to his triumphant entry into the city. It wasn’t as crowded today as it was when Jesus walked here before the week he was crucified.    
On this spot Jesus would have been able to look over most of Jerusalem. There is a Muslim population of about 300,000 in this city today, along with about 500,000 Jews. As we walked down this path the Muslim call to prayer was sounding all over the city. We read Jesus’ words about how his heart broke for the city he loved: 

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ” (‭Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭37-39‬ NIV)

 
On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus brought his disciples here, the Garden of Gesthemane, for prayer. 

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. (‭Matthew‬ ‭26‬:‭36-44‬ NIV)

   
The tree Hayden is looking at has been dated to be roughly 2,300 years old. It’s narly branches tell a story all of their own. 

 
It feels strange taking a selfie here, but while here, you feel drawn to this place. I’m proud to be here with those I love. 

   
    
This is a picture from inside a church beside the Garden. The centerpiece is a bit of the bedrock that belonged to the Garden of Gesthemane. Was it the place where Christ prayed? Probably not, but it’s a lot closer to it than we are in Nederland. Just being near this stone that was near Jesus inspires awe. 

 
Jerusalem is not what I expected. It’s better. It’s richer with story than I imagined. It invites you to participate in sacred history. You can feel close to God anywhere, but you feel closer to His story when you stand in the place the story was lived. 

Following Paul through Greece

We traveled through parts of Greece Wednesday.  Here is a smattering of pictures from this part of our journey. 
 

I’m standing in front of what remains of the Corinthian Agora. It was a maretplace where the Apostle Paul preached the Gospel with boldness.

  

Hayden helped hold the large stones of Apollo’s Temple in Corinth. He said his arms started to burn after an hour so we set them back on their 2600 year old pillars.

  

Hayden and Terry stand just above the place where the Apostle Paul was tried as a disturber of the peace. His preaching of the Gospel caused riots in a number of places.

  

The Bema was a stone bench where the Apostle Paul would have sat while on trial in Corinth. The crowd wanted him convicted but the procosul found him innocent.

While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.” Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” So he drove them off. Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever. ‭Acts‬ ‭18:12-17

 
 

This is the place where the Apostle Paul preached to the men of Athens about the Unknown God.

  

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (‭Acts‬ ‭17‬:‭22-31‬ NIV)

This is he backdrop for the Apostle Paul’s sermon to the philosophers about the Unknown God.

  

Kristi and Hayden stand beside the Parthenon. This site, the Acropilis of Athens, holds several ruins of antiquity.

 

Here are just a few other incredible discoveries we made on our excursion to Greece. 

 

This kabo-like creation is called a SOUVLAKI. It’s cooked on a charcoal fire and drizzled with a lemon juice concoction. The Greece economy can be salvaged if these islanders would just export this tasty meat dish.

  

I heard a few people tell me how delicious Greek yogurt and honey was. This dish was not on my “To Try” list but I figured I would give it a shot. This is one righteous mixture. Really, it’s one of the best things I’ve tried. This is coming back to America with me.

  

I don’t remember what they called this at the bakery. I saw chocolate and cream and cake and I knew it would be good. The best way to describe it is to say it’s a Mega-King-Sized-Moon-Pie. All I needed to make this experience complete was an RC Cola.

 

Spending a Few Moments with Peter and Paul (with more to come later on)

We spent the first third of our day in the Vatican City. It’s a little country, actually. From the Holy See, the Pope rules over about 100 acres of land and is the king for around 800 people. 

According to Google, 5 million people visit the Vatican each year. I think most of this year’s visitors were there today. 

I would show you pictures of the Sistine Chapel but photography was strictly prohibited. I don’t know what they would have done to me if they caught me snapping a few pics, but since I’m far from home and don’t speak the language (except for a few hand gestures I’ve picked up on the street) I chose not to press my luck. 

My recommendation: Go See It!

I can do a little show and tell about St. Peter’s Basilica. 

St. Peter’s Basilica

Please excuse the brevity of this post concerning the pictures below. 

This picture was taken from near the center of St. Peter’s Square.

You feel like the size of an ant when you stand beneath this dome.

Standing at the altar and looking back toward the doors leading out to the Square.

 

The Way of the Apostle Paul

The picture below doesn’t look like much, maybe a part of an ancient road. But this is likely part of the road Paul walked in the last moments of his life. 

Paul knew he was going to Rome to die. He was prepared and unashamed to face martydom for his faith. Listen to his own words below the picture. 

  

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭6-8‬ NIV)

Paul’s Chains

At some point I’ll say much more about  St. Pau’s Basilica, but for now, I leave you with the chains that are displayed over his tomb. Why chains? Below the picture is the worth Paul himself put on the chains he bore. 

  

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.  (‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭12-18‬ NIV)

In Christ, there is always rejoicing. 

As you pray for us on our travels, I pray that you might have the strength to rejoice in the Lord, regardless of your circumstances. 

Stepping on Hallowed Ground.

   
This is the exposed basement of the Roman Colosseum. Wear and tear and weather and looting have caused the Colosseum to be  a shadow of its former glory. The basement would have had a roof and the roof would have been covered in sand. 

It’s the sand that gives all subsequences sports stadiums a unique name. In Latin, sand is arena.  When a gladiator went into the Colosseum, he went into the arena to face off in deadly battle. Now every basketball, football, and soccer player competes in their respective arena. 

I could have just stood at the edge, looking into the arena.  I thought about the lives cut short. I listened for the screams of delight from the crowd. I wondered what the press of 70,000 spectators felt like. 

  This was the first spot on the tour that Kristi and I were equally excited about visiting. 
 
Great construction has a single effect on your heart: it makes you feel small. Just walking around theColosseum , with its arches and columns, made me feel insignificant. “Who am I that I should enter here?”  

We lost ourselves in the rocks and in the stories the rocks told. We learned that the money to build this Colosseum, which was dedicated to sport, games and gladiators, actually came the destruction of Jerusalem  and the pillaged treasury of Jerusalem’s Temple. 

  
 The blood and bones of those slain in the Colosseum’s sand calls out to those who will listen. It calls out with words only the discerning ear can hear. It says, “Do not forget our sacrifice. Do not forget our pain or our misery or our way of life.”

There were Christians among those who fought gladiators and dogs and lions and tigers in the arena. There were Christians who found themselves on the wrong side of the Emperor’s law. We were told that Christians were not thrown into the arena because they were Christians. They were thrown into the arena because of political dissent. 

What was their dissent?

Christians did not worship Caesar as a god. 

Christians had a God and they knew their God to be good. The Christian’s God had a son, and his name was Jesus. The Christians also knew that to honor any other god was blasphemous, so they refused. 

The Christians who refused to acknowledge Caesar as a god became detractors to the state and victims of political prosecution. 

For me, persecution under any other name, still stinks. 

You can see the faith of the 1st century Christian community being lived out beneath the guise of a tryranical emperor. 

Roman coinage, in the time of Jesus bore the image of Tiberius Caesar along with this description: Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus. 

When Christians started reading and believing the Book of Mark, this lead to an immediate political problem. Mark’s opening verse is an attack on Caesar’s claim to be god and therefor his right to rule: 

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (‭Mark‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬ NASB)

Tiberius, the Caesar of Jesus’, day is not Divine. Only Jesus is Divine and son of the Divine. 

  Christians in Ancient Rome had tough choices to make. Either live free, enjoy life and accept that Caesar is lord and divine OR live from convictions that Jesus, based in his reserection, is truly the Son of the divine, and divine in and of himself. 

From my experience today, I would say choose Jesus. There are plenty of Carsars burried here in Rome who’s graves we can account for. We can account for them because they’ve not gone anywhere since they died. Only Jesus was Lord and God enough to rise up from the grave. 

Jesus is the kind of leader I can say is divine and worth all of the worship we can bring yo him. 

Looking for Patience Wore Me Out!

Don’t pray for patience unless you are willing to wait!

I found that out firsthand this past week. Before I preached on the topic of patience last Sunday morning, forces aligned themselves to stretch my patience beyond the breaking point. 

Here are three things that crept into my week in order to take my patience to the next level. 

(Some of these, or maybe all of them, will seem insignificant, and they are. But if we can’t learn from the little things, we’ll never be prepared for the big things.)

Facebook

Have you ever tried to contact Facebook? Don’t bother. You will not get a person. You have a slim chance of getting an electronic response. 

The church Facebook Page had a problem. Part of our Social Engagement strategy involves asking people to “Check-In” on Facebook when they are on our campus. This accomplishes several things including increased exposure, online community building and help advertising specific events. 

For some reason, last Sunday morning, Facebook forgot where First Baptist Nederland was located. No one could Check-In at our location. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. But it was a big enough of a deal that I attempted to correct the problem. 

I called. I emailed. I attempted chats. I pounded my desk. The farther I went into this process, the more emotionally entangled I became. I felt like Brer Rabbit fighting the Tar Baby. 

USPS

I really dig the postal service. 99% of my experience with the mail has been great.  

Last week I ordered a pair of fancy shmancy headphones for our upcoming trip to Israel from a seller on eBay. They were shipped on July 9 and scheduled for delivery in July 11. July 11 came and went. Then July 13 came and went (July 12 was a Sunday so there was no expectation for a sabbath delivery). On the 14th I started calling around. These headphones were shipped from Midlothian, Tx. They were sorted in Fort Worth. After being processed in Fort Worth they were sent to Roanoke. And on the 14th, they were out for delivery in Roanoke. 

I have to give the USPS credit: they let you talk to a person. You might have to wait for a while, but with sufficient quantities of patience and the proper application of perseverance, you will eventually get in touch with a real person. 

The real person I talked to informed me of where my package was and told me she would submit a very important sounding alert that had a reasonable likelihood of getting my package delivered before we left town. 

I enjoyed my conversation with the USPS so much on the 14th that I recreated it on the 15th. I was pleased that the previous day’s call had been very effective. The headphones I coveted made their way all the way for Roanoke back to Fort Worth. Basically, they were in delivery purgatory. My hope for an awesome and quiet plane ride experience was disappearing. 

I asked USPS to just return them to the seller. “No Problem,” they said. All they had to do was send out another alert and the package would be back at the seller’s address in no time. 

I tried to look at it from the most positive light I could. At least I would get my money back. 

Driving to Dallas

Hallie went to camp Monday morning. They arrived in Dallas safe and sound. All reports were positive and encouraging. But Tuesday night she got sick: Fever, Cough, Sore Throat, General Malaise. 

I decided to go get her. 

I left Nederland at 2:30 PM. I arrived back in Nederland at 1 AM. That was a lot more driving than I planned for that Wednesday, but it was worth it. 

There is nothing to speed up that trip to Dallas: no shortcuts, no wormholes cut through the fabric of space, no ultra hyper fast lanes to take advantage of. Driving there and back is a practice in perseverance and patience.

Hallie got a shot and some pills the next morning and is doing much better.

How it all Turned Out

I didn’t share all of that with you to dump my disappointments on you. I learned some specific lessons in each of these cases.

The Facebook issue was corrected before I left town. I don’t know if my emails to Palo Alto (where Facebook’s headquarters are located) did any good, but the problem is resolved. I learned, again, to not sweat the small stuff, and this truly was small stuff.

The headphones, well that was interesting. About two minutes after I completely resigned myself to the fact that I was going to experience the usual air-travel deprivations of comfort, I received a text from USPS. They were happy to announce that my package was delivered. I was happy too. I normally would not have been impatient with this order, but since I bought these headphones specifically for our trip to Israel, I was anxious. All the anxiety, and none of my worry, did any good in this case. Even the alerts the kind customer service reps sent out availed nothing. But I’m happy.

And Hallie, Hallie is doing well. She got a shot the next morning and some antibiotics. She is on the mend. She was sad to leave camp but already making plans to be a part of it again next year. The drive was worth it. The perseverance paid off. Parents have lots of opportunities to practice patience.

There was a lot of waiting and worrying and persevering this past week. But everything ended up just as it was supposed to.

The waiting and the persevering were good for me. The worrying was useless. In fact, it was a distraction that kept me from enjoying a lot of other good things that were happening.

At the end of the week, as we all climbed into the car for another long road trip, being together,and happy, and mostly healthy, made all the waiting and persevering worth it. 

  
  

Need some extra help with Patience?  Check out these links: 

The Sermon Notes from last week’s message. 
Patience on the Road.

Our Erroding Patience