We made it back from jolly ole’ England just fine! It was a wonderful trip all in all. I was so proud of our students in the way they behaved themselves being in another country. They all pretty much got along, and despite the jet lag remained upbeat!
There were a few shenanigans involving me throwing my arm into a train door to stop the train, our group accidentally sitting in first class on the train and having to stand in the creepy hallway between normal and first class (while all the haughty first class people looked at us), my walking straight into a glass door, a whole bus (including the adults) falling asleep on a tour guides talk, and then the royal guards playing Sweet Caroline while the Queen drove out for her 60th Coronation…what is a trip with out a few rare jewels like those, right? Oh and seeing the queen… hellur.
On a more serious note, there were so many breathtaking sites we went to during the trip. Our students sang and played beautifully. One church we sang at was built in 1250… like we don’t have anything that old here in ‘Merica. I wanted to take a moment to tell of a couple “rare jewel” God moments I had during the trip.
First, I wasn’t technically given a group during the trip… however, just the way it worked out with where students wanted to go and who they wanted to be with, each day I ended up with the same 7 to 9 students with me. It struck me about the third day, that they all were choosing to be together… which by looking at the group, they were all very different in age, interests, and even in personality. But it worked. That is the rare jewel of the body of Christ. Even though they may never be bffs at home, they now can have a genuine appreciation for each other and have a common bond. Isn’t it funny how trips tend to do that? Walls come down, bonds are built, and the body of Christ is at work.
Another rare jewel for me was when we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral. My group kind of dispersed in there to different areas. So I just kind of took the 30 minutes or so and seized them. I took my time walking around and appreciating the magnificent art and mosaics. I felt so humbled in that giant unbelievably beautiful space. It so reminded me that even though that place was so very ornate, huge, and every detail had a meaning behind it that is so much like how God is. He is so very specific, beautiful, and big. I couldn’t help but wonder how if a man made thing could be that close to what I would imagine heavenly realms to look like then what do the heavenly realms actually look like?? Wow. A rare jewel.
Lastly, when we were in Westminster Abbey, where all those Kings and Queens are crowned and royals wed… I got goose bumps when I saw the little step Kate had to go up in her beautiful dress for her and William’s wedding. In Westminster Abbey was the Queens Coronation Chair. Again the beauty and majesty of it along with thinking how many royals had sat upon it overwhelmed me. Later, I began to think about how we so worship in a way people like the royals. I will be the first to say I find royals and people high up in the government fascinating. However, I was thinking about how the royals specifically haven’t done really anything to deserve all that honor and special treatment. They were just born into it. In fact the Prime Minister is really who makes the decisions. It made me realize just how much Christ has done for us, and He actually deserves the royal treatment. I get why the people in His day were so confused when He came in a lowly manger and rode a donkey. He deserves so much more than that and us slumping into church to check off our attendance that we were there. He deserves lives lived to honor and glorify Him. A rare jewel.
I could keep writing more God moments, but they will have to remain as snap shots in my mind for now, because after all, it’s not like you want to share all your rare jewels. Sometimes you want to just keep some of them between you and the Lord. 😉