Sunday, August 29, 2010

Galilee-better late than never

I sat down to write this post right after I returned from our field trip to Galilee, but was soon overwhelmed with the energy it would take. So I have procrastinated this post for a month and a half now...

Where to even begin? When I went to Galilee I thought I would be constantly having spiritual experiences. While that was not the case, I did have some profound spiritual experiences at the most unexpected times. My time in Galilee was the most simple, content, fulfilled, relaxed, and closest to Jesus I have ever felt.

This was my life for 10 days: Wake up early, read on the shores of the Sea of Galilee if I had time, eat breakfast, go to 3 hours of New Testament class, then play/read/go swimming/take a nap/write in my journal, watch the sunset over the sea and contemplate the meaning of life, eat dinner, do the required New Testament reading, play, gaze at the stars while lying on the beach, and finally, sleep. Then the next day we would go on a field trip and see all the amazing places where Jesus lived and taught, and other beautiful sights.

My camera broke so I don't have my own pictures, but here are some I got from others:

Caesarea Maritima.
An old stage in Caesarea Maritima.
Our first view of the Sea of Galilee--it was windy!
Crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat.
Bet She'an--an old Roman city. I know I look bored, but this was actually one of my favorite sites!
In the Golan Heights, near Syria. Watch out for mines!
The Bahai Gardens.
Night in Tiberias.
With Jake on the balcony of the Tiberias Branch House. The view was amazing!
Last sunset...

I can't explain how amazing it was to live such a simple life for 10 days. Without having to worry about how I looked and other daily distractions, such as cooking, money, news, grades, callings, work, technology, driving, planning, and time, it was easy for me to find time to meditate and feel close to my Savior. Even though I strongly wish life could be that way all the time, I think it is one of our most challenging tests in mortality to find our own peace in the midst of all these distractions. Will we put God first, or will we be so concerned about life's little details to even think about Him? Is it more important to us to have expensive clothes than to pay tithing? Is it more important to us to sleep in or blog or surf the web than to read our scriptures? It's a delicate balanace that I've struggled with since being back in the States, and probably will for the rest of my life. But I loved my time in Galilee and hopefully my memory of it will be a constant reminder of the peace that is available to us when we put God first!


Adri and Russ Lee said...

That was a really great post, Abby. Thanks for writing it. :) You'll be a great missionary!

Barbara Rich said...

Thanks for sharing this, Abby! You had a very special time and I hope you can hang on to the feelings you've had.

Meg said...

wow abby. . .it's been so fun to keep up with your trip. what a wonderful experience. so proud of u. you are going to be such a rockstar missionary

katielizabethawkes said...

You’ve reminded me of a quote my roommate shared w/ me, by Elder Scott: “Now, the most important principle I can share: Anchor your life in Jesus Christ, your Redeemer. Make your Eternal Father and His Beloved Son the most important priority in your life – more important than life itself, more important than a beloved companion or children or anyone on earth. Make Their will your central desire. Then all that you need for happiness will come to you.”