Notes from "Walking the Bible"

I recently finished a DVD/ book set titled "Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses." Taking a spiritual journey along side someone else's journey can be challenging yet it can have advantages as well. Many of us have our journeys alongside spouses and friends, children and acquaintances. Lately, my journey has been walked alone with books or acquaintance conversations and this set was really interesting because the addition of the DVD and its images helped create a more thought provoking environment for learning. The paragraphs below are notes from the book and video series. These passages really stuck with me and I have enjoyed chewing on the words more than once in the last month. Even though this was Bruce Feiler's journey, his words have changed my journey a bit as any good thoughtful religious text can. I'm happy to share the quoted paragraphs below. Please feel free to share your thoughts as well.

"Does it really matter?" "What do you mean does it matter- Oh course it matters! That’s not why we came here. We came to see the traditional place." Maybe Arbur was right- finding the ark may not be so important. What’s important was that people who told the story of Noah understood the landscape they were talking about. And the story was still alive in this place. The people who live here are still connected to it.

But now that I am here I am beginning to realize that science can’t answer all of those questions. Even if I did find a piece of Noah’s ark and even if I could prove it was 5000 years old and even if I found a piece of wood that said ‘Noah built me,’ I’m still not going to prove that God ordered Noah to build it. OK, so I get that, but still its hard to let go of that comfort of science. If I give up that, what am I looking for?

For my whole life I felt connected to the place where I was born. I was this traveler I would go out and then I would bounce back home. I was like a bungee cord. Now for the first time I felt that cord catch in another place. It’s as if I found a home I didn’t even know what I was looking for. And when I went back to the Bible I realized that the Hebrew word for Adam is ha-adam or earth. “From dust you are,” God says to Adam, “to dust you shall return.” The Bible seems to be saying with these very words that we come from these places ,were made from these places, and we carry these places along with us.

For the first time since we started, I felt a sense of contentment and peace. It wasn’t just what I was learning about the history of the Bible. The landscape itself was beginning to give me answers… answers to some internal longing I hadn’t even identified. Some journeys we choose I realize. Some journeys choose us.

What would I do in this situation? Would you do it? Would you kill for God? I don’t know. For me Abraham is unique … very special. It was an beginning for me to try and find an answer of that specific question which forced me to examine my own relationship with God. When I first started this journey on the roots of the bible, the stories and images seemed so vague in my mind. They no longer seem distant to me. They are no longer distant; by visiting these places I feel like I have entered the bible itself.

Stories are universal and have the remarkable ability thousands of years after they were first written down to become personal for each of us. My geographic adventure was turning into a very different kind of journey.

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