Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TRIP (10/18/18)
TITLE: One Fun Tourist Trap of a Trip
By Nancy Bucca
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Of all the tourist trips I’ve taken, none sports more traps for tripping than Israel. Don’t get me wrong. The trip was a treat. But Israel is a tourist trap for many nations. Hand-crafted souvenirs can easily tempt the naive soul. But too many tokens shoved in a suitcase make it unwieldy, which might result in a sprained ankle (thus leading to a trip to the nearest emergency room – employment for them, no enjoyment for you, unless you love painful lessons learned the hard way).
Please note: The above incident consists of speculation. Could it happen? Possibly. Meanwhile let me extend some travel tips regarding several trip-happy opportunities you as a tourist may choose to target in this land.
Take camel rides, for example. Mounting and dismounting requires whole body coordination. Once up, you feel as if you could fall off at any time, much to your chagrin and the humped one’s great delight. It’s much easier to keep your poise while riding in a tour bus with a driver who doesn’t “have it in” for you.
But then, who goes to tourist traps to chill out? Isn’t the idea to risk your toes at every twist and turn and hill? A stick-to-your-friend-like-glue prayer walk through shady parts of Tel Aviv gives the feet far more goosebumps than trudging through Dead Sea sand in flip-flops. Careful of those pebbles though. They’re murder on the sole. And to find a shady place to sit on the Sea of Galilee boat tour calls for steady sea legs. One false move and you’re sure to -
You guessed it: trip.
A trip to Israel is well worth the risk, however, because it involves walking in Jesus’s footsteps, which in turn means going up and down a lot of hills – or "mounts," as the case may be. If you’ve ever wondered why God had guard rails invented, take a little stroll down the Mount of Olives, on a super steep walkway paved with real smooth stones. You must lean backward to stay upright and take care to watch your step. Otherwise you might just slip and, well –
It’s even easier to lose your balance on the hill at Nazareth where an angry mob tried to throw Jesus off a cliff. Despite the mountaintop’s mighty winds and the crowd’s fierce momentum, He maintained His equilibrium and passed through their midst unharmed. He can help us do the same -
Which brings me to the best part of this trip: the Garden Tomb, thought to be the place where Christ was buried and arose. To get there requires going up a very steep hill, like the one our Savior climbed and on which He purportedly stumbled before they forced another man to bear His cross.
I stumbled, in a way, while ascending the Garden Tomb road. Struggling to keep pace with my tour group, I got badgered by a guy selling some sort of brochure. He refused to take “NO” for an answer and kept getting in my face. Then suddenly a girl behind me jumped on him for trying to snatch my satchel. I had no money in it but perhaps he thought I did.
How embarrassing! I still haven’t lived it down. But those who can’t forget, teach. And the lesson I learned from that little “trip” is this:
Don’t let would-be thieves put stumbling blocks in your path, to keep you from the treasure that stands before you: the one who was crucified between two thieves to save a fallen world.
For, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 24:25
(all verses KJV)
This article is non-fiction.
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