Life events pass by quickly and we don’t always have opportunity for reflection. Often, we are so task-oriented we don’t allow ourselves time to ruminate on meaning, emotions, and impact. This has been the case for me regarding our trip to Israel. Our schedule was relentless. Then, when we returned, I hit the ground running. My attention immediately turned to pressing matters at home, thus delaying the opportunity to reflect on our trip.
Often, we are so task-oriented we don’t allow ourselves time to ruminate on meaning, emotions, and impact.
Looking through pictures has helped me reconnect and remember. Here are some reflective thoughts and the photos that go along with them:
Israel provided a visual smorgasbord—contrasting landscapes, unusual flora, beautiful vistas, and interesting architecture. Often, I wished for time to drink in the scenery, meditate, and reflect.
Today, will you take time to observe, ponder, and enjoy the visual beauty around you? Notice nature. Enjoy unexpected warmth on a winter day. Think of the inspiration you receive from all that is visual and harness that inspiration to fuel forward motion.
Think of the inspiration you receive from all that is visual and harness that inspiration to fuel forward motion.
I have always loved the connectivity history provides. Israel increased my knowledge of Biblical, ethnic, and geographic history. Our guide did an excellent job weaving together Roman occupation, ethnic rivalry, and geographic infighting. We were reminded that much of what is happening today has been going on for centuries.
On a more personal level, do you see the same patterns playing out in your family history? Is there something you can do to change the course of rivalry, unforgiveness, addiction, or infighting?
On our trip, we met people we would not have known otherwise. We also grew closer to those we knew well, or only casually.
Sometimes, we don’t make an effort to interact with those around us or get to know better those we come in contact with regularly. Perhaps we don’t want to get involved in the lives of others, but that shouldn’t stop us from talking on a deeper level and committing to pray for those who are struggling.
When I hear the word “pilgrims,” I most often think of early American settlers, but on our trip to Israel, we were referred to as pilgrims. The dictionary defines “pilgrim” as one who travels to a foreign land or holy place, a devotee.
While in Israel, we walked the places important to our faith. Having been in the actual locations, we gained a deeper understanding. We were able to connect places to the words in scripture.
Maybe, for you, a pilgrimage doesn’t have to involve travel. Perhaps your pilgrimage comes simply from making an effort to be more devoted to spiritual growth and development.
While this year is still young, resolve to make spiritual growth a priority. Your efforts will change you and your outlook on life.
“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart” (Proverbs 27:19 NIV).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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