IMG_3411Glancing at my calendar sent my soul into an excited ascent.  In a few days I would be making another pilgrimage to Israel.  This would be my fourth trip to that special Land but there was no dullness in the anticipation of again walking where Jesus walked or standing where Paul stood or meditating where Peter once had soulful thoughts.

My checklist kept growing.  It was not just the items to pack or the necessities of overseas travel.  On this trip I had responsibilities.

This tour was being sponsored by Insight for Living with Chuck and Cynthia Swindoll.  I had been invited to serve as one of the professors on one of the buses.  800 guests would be converging on the Holy Land, a record number for this tour.

18 buses were secured to transport these eager pilgrims to the various sites around the country.  I was as interested in seeing how the logistics played out on this mega tour as I was visiting the Land.  However, in particular I was to bring the Scriptures to life for our Bus 11 Caramel group of 40 pilgrims.

Each day I was to prepare a devotion to help these very special people to prepare to see, smell and experience all that the Land had to offer.  On top of that early morning privilege I was also to prepare approximately 23 Biblical presentations that pertained to the various sites that we would visit.  If that seems like a lot of presentations then you would be correct.

I still have a job that fills my days with hours of work and extra duties that fill my weekends.  This is by no means a complaint.  In fact I love what I do!  The complication is finding enough time and energy to add this research and preparation into my study time.

For many nights for months I would set aside time to study a passage appropriate to a particular site in the Holy Land.  My assignment was to show the significance of the event and sites and weave it all together.  My personal goal was to make the lessons practical and challenge these pilgrims to a deliberate way of life once they returned home from their pilgrimage.

I suppose that I am a teacher at heart.  Nothing compares to the glow on people’s faces when they have an “Aha!” moment at a site where a special Biblical event occurred.  Was I excited? That is a big 10-4 Roger Wilco!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography