In that country, a man saddled his own broncs and fought his own battles, and the measure of his manhood was that he did what needed to be done, and did it well, and without shirking.”
–Louis L’Amour (Killoe)
“Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.”
–Proverbs 21:25 (NLT)
Annie and I over the years, almost half a century now, have put more than a few miles in travel. We both like it and I prefer to drive most places. I have been across country a few times by train and a few more times by bus. Flying is okay, but I hate all the hassle. It used to be fun, but the last few times have not been enjoyable. I remember when people used to fly they would dress up, but now, well it’s a whole different story.
A couple of millennium ago there was a couple who took a very famous trip. A decree came down from the emperor that all had to go back to the town of their ancestry and register. Caesar Augustus would be formulating a new tax system and all had to be registered. Joseph and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Now, no one knows the actual time of their journey. Some say it would normally be a 4-5 day journey, but she was ready to deliver. They probably traveled a little slower due to her condition. The trip probably took, on the short edge about 7 days, but maybe up to around 10. Mary would probably have walked most of the way, but she might also have gone part of the way on a donkey.
Reminds me of a story. When Annie was pregnant with Shauna, our first born, she was ready to deliver, but no baby. Shauna, already was showing signs of being stubborn (who would believe?). After about five days I decided that we would take a drive over the Rampart Range road. I figured that maybe the washboards in the road might do something to shake that baby loose. Didn’t happen. It was another couple of days.
There was another group of travelers: the Magi or Wise Men. We do not know exactly where they were from or even if they were from the same city. We know they came from the East. Many believe they came from Babylon since there could have been those who studied the stars and also knew biblical prophecy. Remember, the nation of Judah was exiled to Babylon and Daniel was in the court there.
This travelers would have journeyed in more luxury than Mary and Joseph. I don’t know how wealthy they were, but to see the gifts they brought they definitely were not poor. Depending on the route and how many were in the party it would have taken anywhere from one month (and that would push it) to three months. No matter how much luxury they had when they traveled it still not compare to the life at their home. For people of their social status it wasn’t that easy of a journey.
Speaking of the Magi, Annie gave me this little thought last week. Something that you can ponder this Christmas season.
“Wise men came with the treasures of earth in their hands…and left with the Treasure of Heaven in their hearts.” (unknown)
Take this opportunity to treasure what the heavenly Father gave to the earth and to each individual. Don’t let this Christmas season pass you by.
“So if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some quiet morning, the touch will take.”
As I have written the past week or so, Christmas is more than a one day experience. It should be something we experience daily, the wonder of the Incarnation, the coming of the Christ-child. Maybe one day it will take!