In four weeks I leave for Israel. I'm going to a conference on Paul at the Tantur Institute. They ran an ad in Christian Century. A Palestinian Christian is on their board. He was awarded Alumnus of the Year from my seminary in 2002. I got to have lunch with him. Anyway, I figured they must be OK (mostly politically) because of his presence on their board.
There is something about place. Being there. Experiencing the sun, the dust, the beauty, the despair is important to me. It's not about the HOLY SITES that I will probably see, but just being there. (In the Holy Places, there are just too many people and besides most of them are not the "real" place, just where Constantine's mother decided the event must have happened.)
Anyway, I am counting the days. I have a lot of travel ahead. A very quick trip to Cleveburg to see my doc next week, a conference in Austin for the College of Pastoral Leaders (a Lilly group), then Israel (ending with my niece's graduation from law school), then a week in England. Home for a month then off for a month in China, Tibet, on a cruise to see the total eclipse of the sun, over 6 minutes, the longest in years, then a few days in Japan, my favorite country. Then I'll have withdrawal from travel. I hope I survive. I live to travel.
Now, off to do some housework before I get ready to go to church.