What a day! We kicked the day off bright and early by hiking up Mt. Arbel conquering the rain and fog. We worshipped and danced on a boat on the sea of Galilee, refueled with the best falafels in this world (according to our guide and my taste buds), discussed fascinating facts about ancient near eastern family practices at Chorazin, learned unique and unabridged perspectives on Greco-Roman culture at Caesarea Philippi, and ended our day in the hometown of some of Jesus disciples. If it sounds amazing… it’s because it was! However, the highlight of my day 2 happened early in the morning at Mt. Arbel.
From the ground we knew that this was going to be a challenge, however nature decided today to throw in an added element to the test: rain and fog. With mud caked on our boots we traversed rocks slick as butter making our way up to the mountain to find refuge within an area carved into the side of the mountain just below some crusader caves. Continuing on half way up the mountainside, we were soaked in rain and sweat when we took refuge in a little cleft carved into the side of a mountain that probably served as shelter to countless numbers of shepherds, travelers, crusaders and now a group of 20 men. We paused to reflect on a teaching by Rich Baker before continuing our perilous journey to the top. I use perilous because I’m deathly afraid of heights. As we continued our journey up the hill we pondered in our hearts how Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. Getting away to be with God is not always convenient, it’s not always safe, it’s not always easy, but nothing worth doing is going to be easy. When we got to the top I was happy to still be alive, but we could not see more than 50 feet in front of us because the fog was so heavy and I really didn’t mind. As I got to the top of Mt. Arbel it would have been nice to look down on Galilee, but what I was reminded of up there was so much more valuable. Sometimes when I go away to spend time with God I have expectations that by the time I’m finished I will have a clear view of life or ministry, but that is not always the case. The only thing that was clear for me at the top of Mt. Arbel was what was directly beneath my feet and what is in front of me. On top of that mountain I was reminded that getting away is not always a guarantee that I will know where God is leading me, or that I might get a clearer picture, or that the fog will lift, but a reminder that I can cling onto the promise that God is faithful and He’s carrying me through, giving me enough grace to take the next step.
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Check out video here: http://gtitours.org/2012/01/06/day2/