Time flies, that's no secret, also no big discovery or something we can change. The thing however, that we have to continue to figure out, is how to make the most of time, of each day, of each hour. Like we read in Psa 90:12 "Teach us to use wisely all the time we have." The King James translation calls it "to number our days".
This principle has been an important one throughout our world tour, which is halfway over already. And, although we focus on that, time still quickly slips away. That's why we had a family meeting on day 2 in Whitefish ,Montana, to make sure we will use the 3 weeks here wisely. This will be slower pace, with not so much time going into driving from point A to B (like in Los Angeles) ,or having appointments, or so many attractions that we must see. But it is so easy then, that the days might just slip by ,because you think you have lots of time. Each one of us had to give a list of goals that need to be accomplished before we leave on June 12. We wrote them down and keep each other accountable on them. We had another meeting, where each had to evaluate himself and recognize what habit or characteristic needs to be changed or fine tuned. We did that, each looking in his own mirror and repenting, choosing whatever is needed to be more godly and more effective. This "exercise" is also a time saver, otherwise so many hours and days can pass by, over which you have regrets later and have to rectify things – and those are time stealers.
Like in all the other places, we also decide as a family, what activities we will do or which sites we will visit, and then go with that plan. It is impossible to see and do everything at every place we visit. It's part of having balance this whole tour: to see the world and experience different cultures, to rest, have family time, exercise, have enough quiet time, get work done, learn what we need to learn, make divine connections and grow as individuals. (And still stay within our budget as we do all of this.) So once again, planning is important and help with "using our days wisely."
While I'm on this subject of different places, let me give a short recap of our time in the USA so far. The 3 weeks in California was a good mix of sites to be seen, things to do, church visits, special appointments and LOTS of miles on the road. (They are still a bit "behind" in this country and use miles and pounds.) We were not only in Los Angeles during this time, but also in Palm Springs, Arizona where the Grand Canyon is, took a quick drive – 30 minutes - through Las Vegas( and saw the total emptiness money and worldly pleasures bring) and back to LA.
We visited Saddleback Church 3 times and Crenshaw Christian Centre twice. (We were at Saturday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday evening services!) That surely has been a blessing. The main message during those services was the choice to give Glory to God and the choice to run away from sin. I must take up my responsibility. At Crenshaw church (where the members are mainly African –American), we made a funny observation: Although we were the only "white" people there, we were the only real Africans in the church! It was also there that God spoke to me clearly to confirm that my place, our place, is in Africa.
We had meetings with Mark Carver, head of Purpose Driven International ministries, and with Apostle Fred Price and his wife Betty. Both very fruitful and blessed meetings. Wise men and and woman, from whom we can learn so much.
We stayed in a "home exchange" house, very close to the LAX airport. Every afternoon, while taking our walk/jog along the beach, departing planes flew over our heads at a 3 minute interval. Planes played a big role in the LA experience.
A big reason for that was Charlie's return to us. Glory to God for his safe journey -29 hours non stop, with only 2 of them on the ground in Australia and NZ airports! As we drove into the airport, Charlie's plane came in over our heads – how amazing is that! It was and is so wonderful and gracious and a blessing that he could come back, that our family could be complete once again. Thank you God!! The big bag full of sweets and chutney and surprises he brought with him, were also fantastic!
My men drove me down to San Diego for a one day leadership seminar for women. That surely was directly from God. I was blessed.
Greeting LA, we flew to Seattle and drove directly from the airport to Vancouver, Canada, spent 3 hours there and drove back.
Luckily the sun only sets at 21h30, which gave us enough time to experience Vancouver and the Washington state roadside. Beautiful, beautiful country. What a privilege to see it all. We keep on discovering that God's creativity never dries up, it remains amazing and new and fresh.
THEN – we went on the boat – but that deserves a blog post on it's own.
Thank you God, that we may do this, see what we see, experience all we do, learn life lessons and have loads of fun at the same time!! We praise your Name.
May we use our days wisely...