Monday, March 21, 2011

good things come to people who go for it!

sitting at the Sea of Galilee
So I've been back at home for a full week now.  I think I'm starting to finally kick the jet lag and I've re-accustomed to flushing toilet paper and having my own bedroom.  All that is true, but my brain is still somewhere tooling around Israel.  It's not even that I long to be there.  I don't really.  I liked it to visit, but I didn't feel the need to stay there forever.  But my head is there.  It's still processing and sorting through all of the amazing things we did and saw there.  Man, it was amazing and I'm still figuring out all that I've learned and am learning from the trip.  Being able to walk where Jesus did and see the things His human eyes saw really fills your mind quickly.  I'm trying to connect pieces; places with names and stories.  It's a lot to take in even now that I'm back.  It was an incredible gift and I'm grateful for the depth of learning and experience I was blessed with there.

I think about this trip and smile.  I've wanted to go to the Holy Land since I was just a little Shelly singing Father Abraham at a little country church.  I've wanted to see all the Bible places since I could read about them.  I'd been waiting a lifetime for this trip.  When the President of our university invited me to go to Israel a couple of months ago, I wanted to go, but wasn't so sure.  I talked to my parents and immediately my head was filled with doubt about it.  I didn't have the money to go.  I should be saving for a car, putting money into life insurance, and thinking like a responsible young professional.  And let's be real, I probably chose the less responsible option.  Sometimes you just have to do that though.  God figured out a way to make it work.  The money showed up and was figured out and I went to Israel.  I went for it.

I could've waited.  I'm sure there would've been another opportunity.  But sometimes good things come to those who go for it.  Living in the meantime doesn't mean a boring life of waiting.  The waiting talked about in Scripture is active.  In Scripture, especially with the early church, the Lord sent both signals.  He told them to wait.  Wait to be filled with power and the Holy Spirit.  He told them to go.  Go out into every town and village to share the Good News of Christ.  Sometimes it's time to wait.  Sometimes it's time to go for it.  Abraham shows us this, too.  [He also showed what happens when we get the two mixed up, but ya know...we've all been there.]  He and his wife, Sarah, waited for years and years to have the children God had promised them.  Simultaneously, God told them to seize the day and leave the land where they were to follow where He led.  They went for it and followed and made a covenant with God.  It was awesome.  Abraham didn't do so well with the waiting and kind of jumped the gun with having kids, but God was still faithful in bringing Isaac after another bit of waiting.  I guess my point is this: don't spend your life doing one thing without the other.  Wait for what's to come and go for what is before you.

I think about times when I was so busy waiting for something and looking forward that I missed what was right in front of me.  Sometimes we have to take a chance on the opportunities in front of us, knowing that each choice we make is a risk and could result in a good/bad/yes to both experience for us.  In this instance, it was good.  I made sacrifices, but experienced awesome things and God used this trip to provide me with depth of wisdom and friendship that I'd been waiting for.  Either way, we live in grace.  God is works all things for our good and desires us to live free and abundant lives both now and forever.

This trip was something I'm glad I went for.  My eyes were opened to Scripture, history, and people in a way that has changed me forever.  What a gift.  And so I say, yes..good things come to those who wait...and who go for it.  Choose wisely and live in freedom.

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