Today I went for a hike on the old historical road between Jerusalem and Jericho, currently known as “Wadi Al Qelt” (Al Qelt Canyon). I led a group of 14 – mainly university students – to this place so as to encourage them so seek such experiences. I think we are so blessed somehow to be living in the Land of the Bible. Many stories simply come home when seeing them in this new context. As we walked in the heat of the sun through this difficult and exhausting road, I could picture Elijah running away from Ahab, and David running away from his son Absalom. This is also the road that probably Jesus took in his travels between Jericho and Jerusalem.
We saw many caves on the way, and there is also a marvelous Greek Orthodox monastery that dates to the 5th century A.D. Simply stunning and incredible. Yet even more incredible is the fact that so many monks lived throughout the centuries in this very isolated place out of their devotion to God. One of the students wondered about the value or ministry of such monastic acts arguing instead that it is better to be out serving in the community. I wondered on the other hand how many Evangelicals are ready to leave everything behind and come live in such a place – just for week – so as to have a quality and quiet time with God.
While we are so used to hearing the voices of our pastors in our churches, or our teachers in seminaries or Bible Colleges, I argued that it is in such places, out in the nature or on the top of mountains, that we hear God’s voice in the clearest way. I am a teacher. I love to talk. I mean I LOVE to talk and teach. It is in such places that God clearly challenges me to simply shut up, enjoy the scene, and Listen. Such a humbling experience!
This particular hike was a blessing to me since I was not asked to do the teaching. The students led the spiritual time and we had a wonderful devotion and worship experience and God did speak to me not only through the beauty of the place, but also through the talk of the students. Only if we talk less and listen more!