When in Israel we loved being tourists. We still reminisce about those ancient places that we’d only read about in our Bibles. Had to pinch ourselves ’til almost black and blue. Are we really where Jesus and the disciples lived, walked, and helped others?
Traipsing the streets of small villages like Bethsaida, some of the apostles’ hometown. Ambling up, ever so carefully, the same steps used to enter the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem. That little town of His birth. Then back in Jerusalem to the site where Jesus was probably crucified. Is all this real? Are our eyes deceiving us? Ah, the joys of being a Holy Land tourist.
But the Old Testament prophet Micah looks for more from us–“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (Micah 4: 1-2).
What does Micah want? Not just tourists. Not only those who gawk at sights, sounds, and smells. Who take umpteen pictures that are never looked at. Who brag to any cornered Tom Dick and Harry about their exotic globetrotting.
No. Not them. Rather committed followers, who are all ears to God’s teaching and decide to do what He says. Who grab hold of Jesus, never letting go. Who don’t stumble around, flirting with sin but walk His straight and narrow as hard as that may be. Must admit that I fumble around, not up to snuff, easily distracted, walking on eggshells with God, too often up to my eyeballs with fear, expecting that He’ll land heavily on me for the least offense, hoping beyond hope that He’ll look the other way at gobs of bigger ones.
Yet my intention is toward Him. In His direction. It’s not about me. It’s focused on belonging to Jesus. His child and loving being right where I am… in His heart. Safe and secure.
Ready to be more than a Holy Land tourist? Let’s go for it. But don’t forget the Purell!
Lord Jesus, I’m yours because you’ve chosen me. Thank you. Amen.