My wife, Mary Margaret, said she wanted to go to Israel this year and, to say the least, I was reluctant and a more than a bit wary. I was not even sure that it was going to be safe, but the old saying applies, "happy wife, happy life." We made the arrangements. It was an incredible journey as you may know from my post, Our Israel trip. It turned out to be one of those "bucket list" vacations that you do not know about until it is over. I am very thankful for that, but there is much more that I am thankful for regarding the trip.
The Dome on the Rock and the Western wall were amazing to see in person. It is the crossroads to three major religions. We were able to visit the Dome on the Rock, though the attire for Mary Margaret, such a modest dresser, had to be modified, the Western Wall and the Garden of Gethsemane.
Those three areas are a microcosm for the whole country. We also traveled to the Occupied territories. The territories that made it clear that it was against Israeli laws for Israelis to visit. Our guide just ignored them.
We visited the Golan Heights. An area of the world that I have heard about since childhood. From the top of a bluff, we looked into Syria and saw abandoned UN tents. We walked through Old Jerusalem as the Muslim call to prayer was trumpeted from all of the surrounding Minarets. We visited areas of the country that were desolate and we visited areas of plenty growing dates, mangos, bananas and other rich crops that were absolutely thriving. We visited the Mediterranean Sea.
We visited ancient sites and we visited areas recently developed. I am thankful for all of it, but I am even more thankful for the new appreciation Israel and the challenges that country faces. I am thankful that even with all of its challenges, the country still is able to function well. We think of our country as divided. It is to a certain extent, but nothing like it could be.
Looking into Syria from the Golan Heights
What am I most thankful for? A wife that sees the world with a much clearer vision than I do. A wife that challenges me to do new and exciting things. A wife that looks good in two potato sacks! I say this all of the time. I did one thing right in this world and that was to convince this cute, blue eyed, blond girl to marry me. They say that behind every great man, there is a greater women. That is NOT Mary Margaret! 😆 She is a leader and a good one. We have achieved so much more than I had ever imagined. I am a lucky man. BTW-on most days, we stand shoulder to shoulder. I may not be a good follower either.
Thank you for this month's Thankfulness Challenge, Debe Maxwell, CRS. Today we are off to Thailand. Can you guess the subject of my next entry?