Hubby and I just returned from a whirlwind vacation in Europe. And if I had to re-title this tour, it would be known as a “A Taste of Europe.” We covered 8 countries (itinerary says 9, but not really) in 21 days. That is monumental and exhausting. We stopped in most cities only one night. Just enough time to march through the city with a tour guide trying to communicate with us through audio headphones that crackled, chopped off words, and sometimes lost the sound altogether. We saw wondrous sculptures from ancient Rome, gilded palaces in some towns, manicured gardens replete with color, chocolate in Belgium, France, and Switzerland, and a taste of each country’s delicacies.
But a taste was not enough to feel like we had merged with the culture of each city if even for a short time. For the most part, we were observers gulping the life around us and looking at storybook wonders and buildings as wide-eyed children. Occasionally we made a momentary connection with someone who lived in these far-off lands, but ours was the story of luggage carriers and camera toters just passing through.
Don’t miss the memories we made, the laughter shared with old and new friends on our bus, the opportunity to see history come to life and tour sites that characterize cities (e.g. the Eiffel Tower), but we were exhausted and out of breath as we raced through this hectic pace.
Storybook land along Lake Lucerne, Switzerland The climb to Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg
Ceiling of St. Peter’s Basilica Roman Forum The Coliseum, Rome
When I returned home, I wondered how often our life in the Lord resembles one of the tours which stops briefly in one city. We never really become a part of the Lord’s culture or make a deep connection with Him because we are racing like rats to get to the next place, chore, person, Bible study, ………………………………(fill in the blank with your schedule or goal).
How much of the Lord have I tasted in those Bible studies where I crammed in the last few lessons before the meeting just so I would look like I was on top of the topic? What was my goal? Shouldn’t I have been looking and listening to what the Holy Spirit wanted to speak to me personally through the study–not just rush through it to get it done? Was I too much about moving on to the next city (next spiritual level) before I had even opened up to the growth the Lord had for me right where I was.
And all this racing around leads to a malnourished spiritual life–sort of like my flowers that keep dying from either not enough good food or too much good food and water. Am I just gulping down spiritual food but never tasting it. Never tasting the Lord or making the connection with Him?
As we end this writing period which has challenged me beyond my abilities, and I wasn’t even here for half of it, I ponder what will the Lord have me take away from this time. And how does He want me to connect in a deeper way with Him so that I can taste and see His goodness. He just wants a relationship with me, not a stack of studies, good works, or brief encounters that I have piled up as trophies from my hectic race through the spiritual course of life.
He desires to love us and bless us and to mold us into His children that reflect His Son to the world.
He’s given us an invitation to linger with Him, become part of Him and His culture, and taste the delicacies served to His children. This is one invitation we don’t want to decline.
“I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing”
Psalm 34:1-10 NIV
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