Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Epic Adventure revisited - to teach is to learn

Late night at church with the guard-puppy
Monday afternoon Rebekah came home in time to enjoy supper – an amazing gumbo that took me most of the afternoon to fine-tune into a work of gumbo art – then she immediately turned around and headed back to the office. I went in with her, along with our highly trained ferocious guard-puppy. I have to say the flexibility to go places together is one of the best things about this “empty nest” stage of our lives.

Rebekah was working on the Bible-study/Travelogue we launched Tuesday evening. We both took some pretty good photographs, plus we’re supplementing the images with stories from the trip plus some biblical scholarship to elevate the event from slide-show to seminar.

We originally scheduled a three-week overview. But now we’re getting into it we really don’t see how we can do the adventure justice in anything less than four.

RABBIT HOLE: The problem with doing research to supplement our notes is how deep any one thread can go. Sharing great pictures is one thing; folding in some interesting facts adds a lot of interest; just a little additional digging turns you into an expert. We quickly discovered that each slide had the potential to evolve into a 30-minute lecture.... But don't worry, we didn't!

That's me on Mars Hill, with the Acropolis behind me
MARS HILL: One great example was this picture at Mars Hill. This is where Paul made his famous "I see you worship many gods..." appeal to the intellectually and spiritually curious Athenians. Paul referenced both Epicurean and Stoic philosophies, making his starting place exactly where the people were.

"Epicureanism," Rebekah said, "is a fondness for and an indulgence in sensual pleasures; it's about luxurious tastes or habits, especially when it comes to eating and drinking."

"These folk ended up inventing Italy," I said.

"The Stoics taught that people should be free from passion," Rebekah continued. "The Stoics were unmoved by joy or grief, and felt it was best to submit without complaint to unavoidable necessity."
"These people eventually settled in Scotland," I said.

Rebekah teaching Tuesday evening (low-light phone picture)
LECTURE: Around 75 people attended the first night, and we managed to cover the trip up through to the point where we crossed the Suez canal and entered the Sinai Peninsular.
For me, this is Stage Four of our Epic Adventure:
  • Stage One was the preparation. We did background research, watched a lot of Discovery Channel specials, and made sure we were ready.
  • Stage Two was the trip itself, Jan 1-Jan 15.
  • Stage Three was my series of blog entries, Jan 16-Feb 4. If you haven't seen these, take the time to go back and read a few.
  • Stage Four is teaching. I'm a strong believer in the "to teach is to learn" adage, and there is such a wealth of discovery in each day's review.
EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT! I'll finish off this post with the number "85." We heard a lot of talk about excavation, archeology, and the meticulous process of documenting any new discovery. Everywhere we went in Egypt, Jordan and Israel, our guides told us "Only 15% of this site has been excavated." or "The dig has been going on for a decade, but a good 85% of this site remains undiscovered."

It reminds me of our human potential, and my constant challenge to live like we mean it. We're just beginning to scratch the surface. What many people label "miracle" is merely - I believe - one more soul beginning to live to capacity. Imagining living into our potential as Followers of The Way of Jesus?

It'd be a miracle for sure! - DEREK

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