Manger stone found at Megiddo
Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.
Tell Megiddo city gate
We were at Megiddo, Lord, as You know; the ancient Tell where countless armies had confronted one another and where, in the future Your final battle will be fought. While walking through the ruins on the surface and then the tunnels below, I was busily snapping pictures, left and right – trying to “capture the moment “- when it dawned on me that I was not “in the moment”. I had walked over broken pieces of history, climbed upon walls of antiquity, explored trenches and hideaways of forgotten cultures, all with stories to share about how we as humans either lay claim or siege to ground that You already have title. And I was so engrossed in being a spectator, that I was not absorbing the powerful lesson being offered to me.
Water tunnel under Megiddo
This neglected foundation was not just a place of lost civilizations or abandoned strongholds, this was a reminder of how we pursue and commit to our future. I have experienced so many times in my brief history, when a goal or a thing that I want is in my sights. I have charged out to conquer my desires and then, once obtained, have placed them in my trophy cabinet (or in my camera) as mementos, quickly forgotten, referenced only now and again as past victories; tales saved to share with children and grandchildren in hopes of impressing and inspiring.
Jeroboam’s grain silo
I wonder at the crowds that followed you, Jesus. Thousands that were fed, healed and taught, yet they walked away when you offered them the greatest possession of all – Your Love, in return for their love. All they had to do was to wear their belief, not just claim it and hang it as a banner or decorate some remote corner of their home. Only a precious few…disciples they were called, learned the real lesson, the hard lesson. Only these few took on the task of living out what You taught, giving up everything, even their lives, in total dedication to You.
More tunnels beneath Megiddo
Is my faith like that Adonai? Is my devotion to You nothing more than a tourist’s souvenir closet full of relics dusted with neglect, only opened on occasion as some pleasant memory? Or am I truly Your disciple – passionately walking in Your footsteps, wanting to experience moments, possibly even a lifetime, where people I encounter on the street might actually recognize my actions not as my own, but as Yours?
Hidden exit of Megiddo
Sure, Lord of hosts, I understand that even Your apostles had their moments of human frailty, but tourists they were certainly not! They lived and died by Your example and I pray for the courage and strength to do the same. Please convict me if you see me tempted to only be content with a photo gallery ministry. Give me a “nudge” if I start talking of my relationship with You as a past tense touring event.
Jesus, I look at all that is around me and pray that I am not a collector of memories but rather, like you, a builder of relationships and hope, centered in Your love.
Todah Rabah, Messiah!