Saturday, July 10, 2010
A WEEK FOR THINKING
I'm back in Antalya! Eight of us from camp went on a tour of some ancient sites in Turkey a few days ago. We hit up Laodicea, Hieropolis, Ephesus, Pamukkula, and quite a few other sites. This may sound silly, but my favorite part of touring these historically rich places was climbing up columns, temples, amphitheaters, anything I could get my hands and feet on really. There was something so satisfying about being at the highest point of places so... poetic, some might say. Another interesting factor in traveling where Paul and his contemporaries traveled was thinking about what Paul would do if he were there. For instance, if he were in Laodicea and the same time he were, he probably wouldn't be reflecting on his message to the Laodiceans. Rather, he would be witnessing to the excavation crew that was working on a nearby site. This was pretty convicting.
The Lord has taught me many valuable lessons since being here, but one I believe has been most important: I must never stoop to worship the blessings he gives me. I rather need to worship the Blesser with all of my heart all the time. How did I come across this thought? Yesterday I realized there have been very few moments during my time in Turkey where I have needed to depend solely on God (and yesterday was one of those moments, as most of my good friends have now gone home). This is embarrassing and even sad to admit. Yes, I knew I was here to serve him, but I had not expected to be surrounded by such great people and such fun things. When those people and things came into my days, I caused myself to be satisfied with weak times of prayer and thanksgiving. When I stopped to think about why I've felt so drained, the Lord laid this on my heart. Of course those of you who know me know that I tend to be terribly hard on myself, and this instance should not be excluded from that tendency. However, I have come to realize that I always want to have the motivation to make time and space for my personal relationship with God wherever I go.
And yes, I want to keep going! I'm a traveler; I know I'll soon feel cooped up again when I've been home for "long enough", but then again maybe the next lesson I'll learn is contentment. Praise God for his grace and timing!
More to come...