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  • Writer's pictureMargit Kresin

Walking with Jesus - Part 3

"Take a break, drink ..."

This advertising slogan should be kept in mind on our trip on June 30, 2022.

Early in the morning it was time again: a new trip together to northern Germany was just around the corner. I hadn't slept that well that night, because I kept thinking about the long, slow journey of up to 100 km/h on the autobahn and the possible difficulties, such as maneuvering the vehicle with a trailer, even though I only did that a week ago ADAC driver safety training course. I wondered whether it would be better to arrive at the campsite in the morning or in the afternoon. If we, my daughter and I, were to wait for my husband to return from his night shift to have breakfast with him, we would not arrive until after 3 p.m. What was better?

We decided to leave earlier. "Sunny Jona" - our caravan - and my little Ford Fiesta were already packed in front of our door. Benita and I got up around six o'clock, had breakfast and loaded the cool box and our hand luggage into the car. If we managed to get going before eight o'clock driving, we would check in at the campsite before the reception closed around 1 p.m. and would not have to wait until 3 p.m. to check in. Thought, said and done.

The evening before we had already fully coupled the caravan, i.e. also plugged in the electrical connection cable. I figured that if I kept the connection to the home network, the caravan's fridge would draw power from the home network. Unfortunately, I was horrified to discover that the refrigerator had drawn its power from the car battery. As a result, the battery discharged overnight. Now we looked stupid from the laundry. My husband had taken our battery charger with him in his car and we were now at a disadvantage. How should I start my car now? Call the ADAC? But then our dear neighbor Ulrike appeared. She had heard our dilemma and had come out to give us a jump start. Together we managed to bridge the car and get it going.

Off we went and soon we had reached the autobahn and then drove in the direction of Hanover. Shortly before Langenhagen we turned off and drove past Hanover Airport in the direction of Hamburg. The journey didn't want to end. I noticed that I was getting more and more tired. My daughter couldn't help me drive, but she provided good music and fun. At 1:05 p.m. we reached the Kiel-Falkenstein campsite with hanging tongues. Would they still let us in or should we have to wait outside the campsite until 3 p.m.? We were glad that they let us in after all and that we were finally at our seat at around 1:45 p.m.

It was very hot and humid. The sun hit our heads. After we had unhitched and set up the caravan, we took a far too short lunch break. Everything should go quickly - the sea called, the camp should be ready. It looked like rain, so we had to set up the awning, which I still didn't know. Benita searched the Internet for assembly instructions. There were only a few pictures that helped us a little.

Everything could have been finished quickly, but we found it very difficult to work in the heat. It became increasingly muggy and uncomfortable. We didn't give up and just kept going. In hindsight I knew better. I should have listened to the inner voice of Jesus and to my daughter. Both said: "Take a break first, have a drink." Yes, I did drink, I also had a large safari hat on, but I didn't want to take a break. I wanted to finish. After a good three hours and the work done, I noticed freshly made bed in the caravan.finally put our feet up and then after a short break we two women wanted to go to the waterfront and later eat at the little restaurant on the corner.To cook we felt too weak and some luxury after the hard work and on vacation we wanted to treat ourselves.

You probably already guessed it. Again, things didn't go according to my plan. I couldn't get out of bed. Everything turned. I was dizzy and nauseous. We realized: Mother has heat stroke or sunstroke. My daughter helped me as best she could. She handed me a damp rag for my forehead, gave me fresh water, and stayed close to me. I felt sorry for her. The evening, which had been planned so beautifully, fell through. She spent the next few hours by my side. Finally she ate some corn flakes and kept on waiting. Finally, around 9:30pm, I slowly and cautiously ventured out of the trailer. My daughter gave me her arm and so we stumbled first to the bathroom and later we snuck to the lookout point by the restaurant. In front of us lay the bay of Kiel. The ships and boats were clearly visible. Should we dare to go further? We wanted to at least touch the water with our feet.

We carefully scrambled along the five-minute walk. My circulation was not yet fully up to speed again and so the way dragged on for a very long time. However, the reward at the end of the trail was breathtaking. In front of us lay the beach, the sea. We saw Laboe on the other side of the bay and to the east we saw Kiel in the evening light. A few ships and boats passed close by. Immediately we felt at home. Now we knew why we should drive here to the original home of my parents. Everything reminded us of Durban and Umhlanga Rocks in South Africa. My parents had lived there for the past 30 years. Yes, they had found a new home that was very similar to their old home.

Jesus had brought me here so that my daughter and I could close a circle - a circle that began in Kiel (Lübeck or Eckernförde) and led through Namibia to Durban and back to northern Germany. With that in mind, we slowly walked back to our camp. As soon as we arrived, it started to rain and I was glad that despite all the adversities we had managed to build up the old days. Exhausted and exhausted, I fell onto my bed. A day full of efforts, tensions, experiences, thoughts had come to an end and I urgently needed a good portion of sleep.

On this particular day of travel, I learned seven important lessons:

  1. Do not harness your horses too early, i.e. only connect the power cable to the car shortly before departure. One should not act hastily. A relay runner who starts running before he has the relay in his hand actually slows down the race because the relay bearer has to expend extra force at the end of his race to hand the relay to the prematurely started runner.

  2. Sometimes we need a jump start in our lives. My car battery had discharged and needed special jump-starting. I had "discharged" myself through the heat, the journey, the construction of the camp, and suffered a heat stroke. I needed renewed strength before I could continue. Looking back on my life I can say that - even though my life with Jesus started at a young age - I needed a special jump start with extra strong power (the full dynamic power of the Holy Spirit) to start my current ministry for and with the Lord to be able to do.

  3. We are to keep to God's timetable. While there may be small delays or changes here as well, this is not the norm. Do you know God's timetable? Do you stick to your or His schedule? I think that God had planned that we should not have left with my husband until after breakfast, but the anxiety I felt made me change my plans. If we had set off as originally discussed, we would not have arrived at the destination at the hottest time of the day and would certainly have taken a longer lunch break with refreshments and a cool drink on the way.

  4. Take breaks, especially during and after a five-hour drive. As already mentioned under point 3, it would certainly have been better to have a longer lunch break on the way, because then we would have arrived at the campsite strengthened and refreshed. The other possibility would have been that we should have taken a longer break in the shade of the trees as soon as we arrived before we started to set up the awning. The construction could also have happened in the early evening hours. By taking breaks, we could have gained new strength and then refreshed to do the tasks faster and easier.

  5. Listen to your inner voice or in other words, listen to the voice of your shepherd. He knows what's good for you. Also listen to the good advice of your co-workers or travel companions. They usually see faster than you whether you are overtaxing yourself. Jesus reminded me of a vision he showed me years ago: "A racer starting second from last, through skillful driving, taking breaks i.e. regular refueling or tire changes, and above all listening to the voices of the manager and the teams, finally finishing second.

  6. Jesus always has a plan or purpose in our lives. He leads us on the right path, i.e. only if we allow it. We are often the reason for difficulties and problems ourselves and then have to experience delays or even failures.

  7. Take a break, water. Jesus also took breaks, as we learn in the story about the woman from Samaria at Jacob's well. (John 4). He asks for water and then offers her the living water as well. The living water is, as we can also read from Revelation, a symbol for the Holy Spirit. We need our daily and weekly rest periods (Sabbaths) and living (fresh) water. We need the WORD OF GOD and the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Only in this way can we serve the Lord well and, like a tree planted by a stream, bear fresh leaves and fruit.

Traveling with Jesus means sticking to His schedule, following His instructions, and taking occasional rest breaks to regain strength. He is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6).

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