Two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extra human architecture and furious rhythm.
- Frederico Garcia Lorea -
I love to travel and I've had an opportunity to do so over the years. I tend to be drawn to cities or ocean towns, whereas my husband, Mark, loves the country or mountainous areas. However, we make good travel partners. Usually, our travel includes a mix of locations that we both enjoy.
A few years back, we traveled to Australia. My husband's sales job brought him there but I went along as a mere tourist. Upon arriving at the Sydney airport, Mark immediately took the lead. Airports are his natural habitat.
"Well," he said, "now all we have to do is find the way out."
Instantly, I spotted a sign that said simply, "Way Out". We had a good laugh over that one. In the States we tend to obscure the obvious. Aussies, on the other hand, are more direct, thus simplifying things immensely.
The following day after leaving the airport and setting foot in Sydney, I (as Frederico Garcia Laorca so eloquently put it) was swept into the furious rhythm of the city. I hit the streets walking in pace with city dwellers who were, likely, headed off to work. One would think that I knew where I was going, but I didn't have a clue or a plan. I did, however, have a little city map in my pocket in case I got into a bind.
Many times as Christians, "a bind" is exactly where we find ourselves, getting swept away into either the trappings of this world or carrying burdens that we were never intended to carry. Fortunately, we have a "Way Out".
Psalm 118:5 "In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free."
Down through history people have found theirself in a bind and often need a way out. In Jewish culture, this way out is celebrated yearly.
The Jewish Holiday, Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of God's willingness to set us free, to give us a way out. Although,Rosh Hashanah means 'New Year', new beginning is just as applicable. The festivities begin with the blowing of the shofar (trumpet), a sort of spiritual wake up call. It is a time to remember God's mercy and ask for his forgiveness. One common practice,in Israel, is to visit the Biblical Zoo during this time.
The Zoo is home to a myriad of animals, which were mentioned in the Bible. The Zoo's purpose is to protect these endangered animals and preserve their history. Jewish people living in Israel see this zoo visit as a labyrinth of remembrance, a time to reflect on God's promise to Noah and to all mankind.
Noah's story is the ultimate story of a clean slate, a new beginning! The newness that was presented to Noah and his family was unprecedented and overwhelming. Can you imagine the flood of emotions that washed over them as they stepped off the ark? Everything that they set their eyes on was void of life. However, God,in his mercy, set the ark on the top of a mountain. The valleys were far below where the ark landed and the valleys portrayed a page out of the worst possible disaster report.
And yet,the first thing that Noah did was to give an animal sacrifice to the Lord. Let that realization settle in a minute..an animal sacrifice! This obedience was a mammoth sized offering. It was rewarded with an equally colossal sign and covenant. From that day, the rainbow has been a banner of love to all who follow the Lord, a promise of a new beginning, a brilliant archway promising a "Way out" and the pledge of a "Good Yontif" a good good day.
They received the promise of a good good day and that promise has been fulfilled. Animal sacrifice was necessary for forgiveness of sin in the days of Noah. However, in Hebrews 10 we learn that the blood of animals is no longer the payment for sin now we have a better payment. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice. He offered himself as an unblemished, perfect, blood sacrifice for us. His death and resurrection three days later provided the way out of sin and the way into the presence of God. That truly is a good good day!
John 14:6, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Darlene is a writer who travels with her husband, Mark across rural United States as he builds power plants.