Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)
TITLE: Sunrise on Galilee
By Carolyn Kenney
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Like many people, I love to travel. I have worked at my current job for over thirty-three years, thereby allowing me five weeks vacation per year. Oftentimes, I will take a week in the spring and another in the fall to stay home and do chores in the house or outside on a beautiful day.
Earlier this year, I decided to join a group going to the Holy Land! What a marvelous and fulfilling journey this was for all who traveled the long distance. Each day, we celebrated mass at one of the many holy places throughout Israel. We visited the Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Mount of Beatitudes, Mount Tabor and Jerusalem. We swam in the Dead Sea and walked the desert sands of Masada. We encountered peoples of all faiths and nationalities. It was a trip that will be forever etched in my memory.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to again join this group on a second trip to this breathtaking land. We will leave in March 2008 for two fabulous weeks visiting many of the same sites, but incorporating new ones as well. I cannot wait to once again visit the land of my faith.
Since I have been at my current job for so long, fellow employees - as well as friends - sometimes ask if I have “another trip planned.” I will now say to them, “Yes, I am returning to the Holy Land!” They will mumble words to the effect, “Oh, that’s nice.” However, the look of dazed confusion on their faces will speak volumes. They will not understand why in this day and age I would want to return there. Their bewildered look will really being saying, “oh, another religious trip.” The truth is that some people hinder their own spiritual growth due to the materialistic values the world places on them. Because of this, they do not understand that others need - and want - to deepen and nourish their faith.
In the Holy Land, I felt something unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I felt a deep sense of peace and belonging. On our trip earlier this year, I took a stunning picture of the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. In this picture, two birds can be seen - one on either side of the sun. I showed it to a friend who sent me a quotation by Dietrich von Hildebrand, which aptly describes this photograph. It reads, “To whom will the sublime beauty of a sunset or a Ninth Symphony of Beethoven reveal itself, but to him who approaches it reverently and unlocks his heart to it?”
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