There are many ways to “see” Israel. Most people sign up for a trip to Israel because they want to “walk where Jesus walked.” They do…sort of. I’ve watched throngs of people get on and off buses, follow a guide who sometimes has to use a microphone to be heard. Where microphones aren’t allowed or available, people hear what they can as they trek from one stop to another. It can be a good experience,
…but there’s a difference between touring and journeying.
The trips I’ve led have been a little different. We try to combine touring certain “essential” locations with exploring some less familiar ones. We keep the group small, so we get to know each other well and can help one another with questions along the journey. After all, journeying through Israel isn’t about sites as much as about heart. It’s not about gaining head knowledge as much as inviting life change. We serve the people of Israel so that we’re invested in people of today. We might be drawn by the past of Israel, but we engage in the “now.” We look people in the eyes and serve with our hands.
It’s not a perfect approach. I always long for more. As I connect one place with another, I wonder what it would be like to hike instead of drive. I savor conversations inside the hotels and at coffee shops, which makes me want to seek out and enjoy even more connections with people. During the adventure of daily itineraries, I wonder about the simplicity of routines. I come across the people living everyday lives and want to walk alongside them. Yet I have to balance the expectations and opportunities of a limited block of time.
No matter what the approach, I have to be available to journey the way God wants me to journey. That means, being available to notice, change, reflect, and learn every step of the way.
Are you touring or journeying? How available are you? How committed are you? Flexible?
Learn from others, but let God lead every step of the way.
If you’re interested in receiving information about the next women’s trip to Israel (Fall 2016) when it is available, click here.