What on Earth!?
Later today I leave for the UK, Malta, France and Italy. Thanks to Google Earth I have been able to research everything.
I started marking my destinations with pins. In the UK, I marked: where we will be staying in Leigh-on-Sea; meeting a friend at 24-7 Prayer's London City Boiler Room; business meeting and tour at Lloyd's of London; and various other destinations in the City of London.
In France, I put a pin in the location of Clairvaux Abbey. I was doing research on how to reach that location from Paris. In Italy, I put a pin in an Abbey-winery that our friends are hoping to buy and convert into a house of prayer and place of pilgrimage. I was just meandering around Google Earth minding my own business.
As I zoomed away from the Abbey in Italy I noticed something profound. London, Clairvaux and Abbey Italia were all lined up geographically. Well that was interesting.I wondered where Malta was in alignment with those three locations. I put a pin in Valetta. Google Earth took the shortest path as I drew a line from Canmore to Malta. And I ended up scratching my head for days! If I continue drawing the line south-east it would go through the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria.
Some who read this blog remember the 20 acre cashew plantation we've been visiting and praying over in Honduras. I think there are many more lines to be drawn in prayer and action.
Some who read this blog know why I'm going on this trip, others don't. It all started when I agreed to join a very good friend who I'm helping research his family line. My friend was an orphan and adopted. He never met his father who died during WWII. My friend met his one surviving relative in England for the first time when he was 50 years old. Now my friend is 63. His grandfather was the chairman of a major bank in the City of London. We are going to London praying, and we have a lot of research to do!
Since I was already planning on going to London with my friend I asked my wife if she would like to meet me in Europe and romance around France for a week. After some convincing (she doesn't like to spend any money on herself) we started making plans to train around and drive from Paris to Clairvaux, down to Nice, over to Italy, and back to Paris.
And since we were going to Paris together it is only a stone's skip across the Med to Malta where our friends are praying up a storm, so why not throw another Island into the adventure. So I hop over to Malta from London before Dar lands in Paris.
So there is the next 21 days or so in a nutshell.
On flights I will be reading Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations"; Bernard of Clairvaux's "Honey and Salt"; and Dennis Castillo's "The Maltese Cross: A Strategic History of Malta"
From the first page of The Wealth of Nations (which was completed in 1775):
"Among the savage nations of hunters and fishers, every individual who is able to work, is more or less employed in useful labour, and endeavours to provide, as well as he can, the necessities and conveniences of life, for himself, or such of his family or tribe as are either too old, or too young, or too infirm to go a hunting and fishing. Such nations, are so miserably poor that, from mere want, they are frequently reduced, or, at least, think themselves reduced, to the necessity of destroying, and sometimes of abandoning their infants, their old people, and those afflicted with lingering diseases, to perish with hunger, or to be devoured by wild beasts.
Among civilized and thriving nations, on the contrary..."
If Smith could only see us all now! The civilized and thriving one's want to hunt and fish. The civilized and thriving nations are killing, over medicating, and hiding their undesirables, at every level in every way. The only place there seems to be any dignity left in this world is amidst the poorest of the poorest nations. Many of them only need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ once to bring them out from under witchcraft, ancestor worship and superstitions.
And they need so much more than a word from Jesus Christ ... They need Jesus Christ himself. And once they meet Him they will be entrusted with what it is He puts into their hands. And do you know what "it" is. The freedom to love all others. The joy of building healthy communities of peace. The faith to follow hard after God in His Spirit and the hope that One day all wrongs will be addressed and everything will be made right in the presence of the King of all Kings.
I'm off to see a bit of His world.