September 23, 2019

The last days have been a blur of stopping and moving, slow and go, one place to another, each further down the trail than the last.  Tired feet, body, but cheerful.  Not walking all the trail in a hide-bound legalistic way, but only as much as is Spirit directed—which is plenty.

Israeli Trail marker beside Bethyl’s right hand

We pounded a lot of hard sand today from Hadera to Netanya, slap alongside the Mediterranean.  25,916 steps. 12.6 miles with the steady wind blowing full in our face, unceasing.

the conversation goes on between wind, waves, and sand

The joy of waves conversing with rocks and sand, wind-surfers skipping waves, groups of children surfing together with an instructor, conversing with a cheerful German woman, about our age, carrying her full ruck-sack for the Israel Trail on her back for 10 weeks….  All this produced a sense of weighted mystery in me, like God was instructing me in the art of endurance and wind-blown joy. 

not suffering from a lack of imagination

Never thought we’d be doing this journey at this age and stage—but today’s experiences puts me in mind of how Israelis peacefully put past and present together while under threat of extinction all around them. Concreting this surfboard to a pillar below a military installation, for example…

Another stretching of imagination, a blast from the past, was from yesterday’s hike on the INT through Caesarea. King Herod the Great’s brilliant open-water harbor included islands of sunken concrete for creating piers. This piece of the past mixed with a 1915 scuba recovery of 2500 pieces of gold from the bottom of that same harbor. Archeologists still dig for relics inside the ancient fortress—only a few meters from what remains of his ocean front condo-castle….

the northern pier of Caesarea
ongoing excavation beside the new tourist center, only 3 months opened…
present excavates past for those with boldness to discover what’s under the surface

Two statements come to mind: 

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.”  Oscar Wilde

 “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Both statements encourage me to keep extending my physical grasp toward my spiritual reach. 

stretching in the shade

And pray, what is that? Our mantra for the inside pilgrimage:

 “Walk with me.  Work with me.  Watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live lightly and freely.”  Jesus.  Matthew 11.  MSG