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Athens- Day Four

Wow-what a day. I think that may be my biggest understatement in recent history. When we woke this morning, I don’t think any of us could have predicted the path the day would take nor imagine the clear presence of God, fellowship, and love on this journey.

We knew our day would start with the long drive to Athens with a couple of stops along the way. Our first stop was the site of the battle of the Spartan 300 along with the natural hot springs coming off the mountain. Once we walked around with our guide Peggy, we returned to stand under the trees to hold our morning worship (this is by far my favorite time of each day).

Dr. Leon shared a beautiful sermon of love and reminding us that Paul was an apostle of love-Jesus calls us to love our fellow man-let us not forget. He reminded us that God, Jesus, was about relationship, humans made religion. As he finished, Bill began to share a Psalm when we heard a disruption to our left and saw that one of our fellow travelers had fallen. Have I mentioned how amazing this group of believers are? Half the team went into immediate response to care for our fellow member while the remaining continued our service in prayer. The team came together to make sure our fellow traveler could get on the bus and we continued on our long trek to Athens.

We would later find out that when he fell he sustained an injury that would negatively impact the rest of his trip.

What I observed- our group remained flexible and caring first and foremost for our fellow traveler versus any personal needs or expectations. I saw each of us provide comfort and prayer to our injured traveler, support for our guide, and our hosts. We did exactly what Dr. Leon encouraged us to do-we focused on loving one another. As I sit here at the end of the day and think of how today could have ended, I realize what an amazing world we live in when we have God in our presence. There is no me, there is no judgement or selfishness, there is simply fellowship, caring, and yes-love.

As we broke bread for dinner tonight there was a clear shift in our bond. As our journey continues you can see the relationships grow, the warmth and depth of the hugs, and the sincerity in the well wishes.

Oh-and can you believe it, today’s reading was Psalm 23…that’s a God wink!

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