Ten days we were tourists being led through a country and culture foreign to us. We were loaded on a tour bus with 30 others, stopping at sites and being overwhelmed with information. I kept my attention out the bus window as we went through the streets of Tiberius, Jerusalem, driving through Jericho and Bethlehem. We went up to the Golan Heights and down in the tunnels under Jerusalem. We climbed up and we climbed down.
I kept my eyes peeled for sheep on the mountain side but was disappointed to see so few. I spotted a camel too late to get the camera up but when we stopped at a gas station had a treat seeing a couple of girls getting a camel ride in the parking lot.
I was fascinated by a small Bedouin community and how the Israeli government is moving them into houses ending their nomadic life and I’d never heard of the Druze people. My camera stayed in my lap trying to get clear pictures through the bus window.
I’ve barely had time to contemplate our time in Israel. We had a short turn around before leaving for our semi-annual conference with others in our ministry. One sleep at home in the last few weeks and finally home again, I am feeling the fatigue.
Sometimes life is hard to pick up where you left off so today is one of transition. Getting my bearings on the routine again. Hoping our experience in Israel will mark me more as a pilgrim than tourist. Drawing on our time there just before this holy season will better inform my focus during Lent. Remembering the olive trees lining the garden and rumble of life surrounding. Praying my transition will be deeper than mere routine.