I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting ready to travel to the Holy Land and Egypt, or if it’s because of the books I’m editing and Christian authors I’m working with to get their books published…or because of some of the crazy stuff happening in the world today…but I am a little concerned about the possibility that the end times might be closer than we think. Don’t get me wrong; anyone who knows me knows I’m an eternal optimist, always looking at the bright side, glass-half-full, seize-the-day, Pollyanna sort of girl…almost to the point of being very gullible or naive some would say. I typically don’t watch the news much because it’s so full of gloom and doom. BUT, one has to admit strange things are happening: wildfires in Canada that are blowing smoke as far as Washington DC, hailstones in Florida in May the size of quarters, people still getting COVID with weird affects no one has seen before, shootings, poisonings, famine, growing economic distress…the list goes on. Haven’t they always, since the beginning of time, you ask? Well, yes. But I know a lot of Christians who are starting to ‘batten down the hatches’ and prepare for what they call the second coming of Christ, the rapture, or the end of the world as we know it.
Which brings me back to my trip. My husband and I originally planned this ‘bucket list’ trip for our tenth wedding anniversary in 2020…but then COVID began. It was pushed to 2021, but then we didn’t go (still due to the still-widespread disease) and then another trip got scheduled for this year. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip, we know, and one we’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Still, travel today causes angst for the most seasoned travelers. And this is where an old adage comes to mind, FAITH OVER FEAR. I have to keep reminding myself that I will get my work done one way or another before I leave. (I’m glad I have very understanding clients!) Anything I don’t pack I probably won’t need – or I can probably buy! (I’m glad I have a very accommodating husband!) Any spiritual unpreparedness can be lessened if I pray and have faith that I’m right where God wants me. (I’m glad I have a God with a big sense of humor.) And the rest is truly in His hands.
Some people have asked, “why in the world are you and your husband going on a trip there for your anniversary?” And I say, why not? We will not only walk in Jesus’ footsteps while He was here on this earth, we will climb Mount Sinai at sunrise to see where Moses received the Ten Commandments, we will see where the Israelites fled Egypt, we will go back in time to where Christianity all started and literally walk the Bible. (And of course, I write novels that reimagine Bible stories…which is how the trip ended up on my bucket list in the first place!
Even in the darkest nights, God gave us the moon and stars to light our way and look up to realize we are not alone but part of a big, beautiful universe. I believe He is calling us to not only see it though, but to serve it with our special talents and gifts. To serve Him and others, here and now. To live out the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ Beatitudes. And to not be afraid on the journey if we get lost, take a wrong turn or two, stumble and fall even. No one knows how long any of us have on this earth. Even if there comes a day when the sun doesn’t rise, for those of us who know the Son has risen, we know we will live forever. So, while it would be a good idea to be spiritually prepared, there is no need to worry. As my author friend Lee Merrick states in the title of her new book, “God’s Got This!” And Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “’And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’” Just for today, while we’re here, I’m breathing in faith, breathing out fear, and deciding to just enjoy the ride.