I Have Been a Traveler

Today’s Journey Through the Bible Readings
Genesis 46-48, Matthew 13:1-30

Where-have-you-been-

Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”

 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11 Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children (Genesis 47:9-12, Common English Bible).

Jacob answered Pharaoh’s question, “How old are you?” by saying, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years…” I love Jacob’s answer to this question. “I have been a traveler…”

Jacob could have answered the question, in the same way, many of us would answer when asked the same question, “I am 130 years old.” Of course, our numbers would be much different as far as years than for Jacob. Still, our answer would likely take on the same form.

Jacob’s answer would imply that life is more than the number of birthdays that have passed us by. Instead, life is a journey. We begin in one place and we travel through the stages of life. We see the sites, the events that life brings our way. Just as when we travel, there are good sites, sites we enjoy, and there are some things we see that don’t quite measure up.

When I was in the Navy I saw a fair number of sites in Europe. I loved Portsmouth England. Seeing the old sailing vessel, H.M.S. Victory was a treat for me. I wasn’t as crazy about Hamburg German. I loved Copenhagen and many of its sites. I didn’t think as highly of Cherbourg France. I truly enjoyed Scotland but Dublin (it was during the days of the IRA) didn’t hold the same appeal.

The journey of life is much the same. The birth of a child is a wonderful stop on the journey. The death of a loved one, not so much. Graduation from college is a real highlight of the trip. Losing a job falls short of the goal. The list could be endless.

Just as Jacob sees a human life as a journey, the life of faith is even more so. This life in faith is filled with twists and turns. Along the way, we encounter new and different people that bless us along the way. But, we also encounter those who prove to be difficult. We see things that bring beauty as we travel. But, we also see a seedier side of the human experience, something that doesn’t hold the same beauty. We enjoy moments with God yet, on the other hand, we have those times when God seems to be very far from us.

Jacob gives us an interesting perspective. I have been a traveler… How about you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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