The Jordan: Crossing the Promised Land
Filipinos are a breed of sentimental people. They seldom like goodbyes. But there was one goodbye from this place a thousand years ago that was equally heavy emotionally: Moses who has fought and prayed and fasted to reach the Promise Land is a few kilometers of his goal but God says, this is as far as you can go. From the thick air which blurs out the whole valley, we could see miles and miles of endless sand, glimmering in the morning sun while cool breeze blow through my face.
This is Mount Nebo in Jordan.
How we ended there? is a long story. This how its happened.
We set out our journey in the Philippines, excited for a long adventure. We made a rendezvous in the City of Gold – Dubai en route to Jordan. Not the man who flies but the place with men of thick beard and accent. In its capital is a strange sight you will find it mysterious.
The Airport of Amman is a striking contrast to Dubai’s. While Dubai gave its tune of modern architecture (I am sorry guys, I’m an architect by profession and a teacher once before) by using chrome and metal at every oppurtunity, Amman’s Airport exuded truthfulness. The light colors matched the structure to its sandy landscape. It’s walls were textured concrete, unadorned. And yet, the arches and curves gave the superstructure its distinct identity. In the interior, you will find Islamic resonance with geometric forms softened by curves on the triangular corners.
We were here. It is quite interesting how we cam through faster than their locals, as they were thouroughly checked for contraband material. Was it the charm of our Jordanian host or as most will think, there could be a real threat of attacks from their population?
From the capital, we rode the bus that took us around the countryside. Not much surprise, the only plants growing were olives and, if properly watered: bananas. The popular sport in the area is growing sheep and goats, also known as herding. . .
We climbed through the mountainside onto this early christian church which was built to commemorate where the Israelites would have stayed. At this time of year, it wasn’t this hot, but surely during summer, it would have been hard to feed a million angry shouting Israelites clamoring for fine cheese and shawarma from Egypt.
The early Christian Church was adorned with mosaic, the early expression of architecture details of their time. Mosaics are an artwork composted of inter laying materials such as stone or pottery of different shades to create an overall painting when viewed as a whole. The whole ancient structure was well preserved, considering that it is now 1,400 years old! Another factor for its preservation is the dry and cool climate, which you can see the stones still have a light earth color.
Outside the church, there was a newly installed pole. They say this was supposedly where Moses placed a staff with a snake sculpture, the emblem that stuck through the ages for doctors. It represented healing for those in the medicine profession. This can be seen on my solo picture.
We arrived to this isolated mountain area where it was rumored that Moses shed a tear over the place where he would be able to behold the promise land but never set foot on it. It could have been gruelling to spend out most of your life building and taking care to 1 million people only to find out you wouldn’t be there to enjoy success.
There will be seasons in our life where we feel we deserved what we work for and yet our dreams are not yet within reach. There have been seasons of my life where I felt I deserve better. And yet the more I struggled, the farther away I stray from my dream.
Life is a reflection of ourselves. How much we give her is how much she would also give back. In the end, our ability to trust God in any season of our life and rest in His hands, will prove to be the best oppurtunity for God’s provision. Impatience and anger is a reflection of our rawness and that our harvest is not yet ripe.
See you when we get to Galilee!