Middle East Journey

This week is an appropriate time to share a little bit about one of my trips to the Middle East. I was still in active ministry at the time, making everything I learned there more valuable.

So much of what we saw on that trip was exactly how most people picture that part of the world – wide expanses of desert with Bedouins and their tents. Expand the picture above and you’ll get a better idea of a typical Bedouin with his camel.

When I was offered a chance to ride a camel, I quickly agreed. Riding a camel certainly has been one of my more unique experiences! I’d been riding horses for many years, so I thought a camel would be a cinch. How wrong I was!

Camels have a nasty disposition! Also, along with their constant complaining, they bend down in stages to let you climb on, which gives you the sensation of being on a very fluky rocking chair (or a slow roller coaster).

LUCY ON A CAMEL

I took this ride near the Qumran where ancient papyrus scrolls were found in 1945. Later, I visited the museum where these scrolls are on exhibit.

QUMRAN

In just a few days, we will celebrate Epiphany and the magi who followed a star to visit a baby in a stable. The word Epiphany means a “revelation,” or what I call an “ah ha!” moment and especially when we realize that God or the Holy Spirit is with us at all times, no matter what our religious tradition.

In the meantime, I want to say that I truly appreciate those guys even more now. I can empathize with the grueling ride they must have had on those camels!

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou! (Happy New Year)

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