Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Looking for the LIghthouse

In a few weeks, we'll be setting out from Amsterdam on a cruise of the eastern North Sea and the Baltic.  Busy thinking about what to pack, and having to deal with overseas security regulations regarding how much shampoo, etc. I'm allowed to carry.

Last time I traveled in Europe was 1973, and that trip ended in Amsterdam, ironically.  It will be interesting to see how much the city has changed.  And travel.  Back then, I carried a backpack and hitchhiked most of the time.  Occasionally, for a break, I'd take a night train, in lieu of paying for a youth hostel.  In that backpack I carried, along with essentials, a full-sized hardcover Living Bible.  I read it almost every day and it was worth the weight.  In fact, I still have that Bible and can look back at the notes I made in it then.

Times have changed.  Now I can fit a Bible and a whole bunch of other books in my Kindle.
But, as the physical size of my Bible has shrunk, so has my faith, it seems.  Forty-five years have passed, and the storms of life have taken their toll.  The sails of my ship are tattered, and the masts are leaning, and some are broken.  Somewhere out beyond the clouds around me, I remember seeing a lighthouse on the distant shore.  I can't see it now, but I hope and pray it's still there.

So I sail on, hoping it is out there, beckoning me to that heavenly shore.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy Beltane and May Day

Happy Beltane!  Otherwise known as May Day, Mayfest, Volksfest, Beltyne, etc.  It marks the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice.  For those of us living in northern climes, though, it's more like the first day of spring.  It probably came originally from a pagan fertility rite, since it is near planting time in many places.  Tho in others, it's when the first fruits of the garden are coming on.  In ancient Israel it was Pentecost, the Feast of First Fruits.  When Christianity came along, Pentecost became the day God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell with all believers.  Before this, visits by the Spirit (and often the accompanying miracles) came only at random, according the God's purposes.  But now, this indwelling of the Spirit is available to all believers in God's Son.  What an amazing thought!

So, May 1 to me is much more than May Baskets and May Poles, though they are nice remembrances of the coming of Spring after a long Winter.  It is also a chance to erase the slate of all the old grime and grit left under the melting snow, and make a fresh clean start, with the greening of the hills, the budding of the trees, and yes--my daffodils are finally beginning to bloom.  Love their sunny yellow color!  A color of joy.