Ruth 1:16 The Message Version
But Ruth said, “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live. Your people are my people, your God is my God.
I arrived a day late; I missed my connection; they missed me. The start of my adventure was an adventure in itself. In my home airport I learned that my flight to Newark, New Jersey, was to be delayed by a huge storm that had already passed through the Upstate of South Carolina. The sweet ladies at the United desk arranged my schedule to better match my needs; they told me to go home, get a good night sleep and start all over again the next day. Pretty good advice for anyone!
I arrived mid-morning and after being shuffled through check point to check point, I understood why Israel has a reputation. No one gets in easily. No one gets a pass. No one is overlooked. No one is exempt. I even saw a drug sniffing dog making the rounds. Result: I felt very safe in Israel the entire time. Patrolling soldiers with their guns also assured me that someone was close by if I needed immediate help.
I decided to stroll down to the old port city of Jaffa. I’m glad I wandered through, as our guided tour the next day was brief and I actually saw more on my own.
After having sat on planes for hours on end, I decided to stroll down to the beach. Tel Aviv has beautiful walkways by the Mediterranean Sea. Well landscaped and paved with a pattern reminiscent of waves, the breezes combed my hair and filled my lungs with fresh salty air.
On the way back to the hotel, I opted for a beach stroll, gathering souvenir shells.
As I walked I spied a lifeguard stand. It appeared to be a very small house or office. It was a two-story building, permanent and solid.
Bicycles, as well as scooters, are used by the youthful population. No bike lanes here. They have a bicycle highway, complete with a middle line. Traffic is heavy at times and there seemed to be no speed limit. Bicyclists were king on this highway. Pedestrians are hazards and must yield to the bicyclists. Day and night they zoom past. I even saw one biker pulling a trailer carrying two paddle boards. Biking is a great solution to the 100% tax on new cars!
The locals seem to enjoy their city as much as the tourists! Even at night I saw families picnicking in this gentle temperate region.
I also happened upon and impromptu drum and dance happening in the park there by the shore of the Mediterranean. I so wanted to join in; others had, and were dancing with abandon; in another life I will dance my way to the center and immerse my body, mind, and soul.
Having lost a day, I almost missed the meet and greet the first evening. Thank goodness for the television screen posting the correct time in my new country and the day’s date. I rushed to ready myself to meet my fellow travelers.
Dear Heavenly Father, I heard Your still small voice planting the seed which grew into my pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I knew it was the path You wanted me to follow. You opened the doors, booking the group tour and flights, through my competent AAA agent, I was transported not only to a world unknown, but also to a period of joy, happiness, and unconditional love I had not experienced … well … ever. Maybe it was the fact that we, as a group, did not know each other; maybe we all needed to share our stories; maybe we all needed a new family, for just a little while; maybe we needed to discover the goodness, the compassion, the love for another and for ourselves.
I thank You, Lord, for knowing exactly what I needed. Thank You for placing me within a circle of support, love, and childlike wonder. Thank You for strengthening me for what future plans You have for my life.
Bless You for Your Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Omnipotence. You are indeed the Almighty God! Amen
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