What I learned when I was lifted up – Baptist News Global


In the “dark thirty,” too early for a morning of rest, we waited in the cold air before dawn in front of our hotel room in a cave in Cappadocia, Turkey. Long before sunrise, an inconspicuous white van would eventually come for us and drive us to the takeoff site.

As we traveled in silence up and down winding country roads with one lane, we didn’t know what to expect. We saw taillights in front and headlights behind, which meant we were joined or joined by other similar vans transporting other similarly sleepy tourists to a place outside the city where there are at least 100 hot air balloons, heated and magnified by all that warm air , with 10 passengers and one pilot each would soon take off slowly.

Earlier, in the darkness of the night, trucks towing long, skinny trailers loaded with long, skinny baskets, which would soon be attached to balloons filled with heated air, were delivered to their designated take-off spots over carefully choreographed and well-organized landscapes. Several eons ago, volcanic lava combined with water marked this land and its soft rock, resulting in ubiquitous phallic structures that penetrated and accentuated the rolling hills and steep valleys. And now men and boys were opening and heating air-filled bags, holding guidelines, or helping older tourists like me get on the boat safely. Later, they would pour toasts with champagne and hand out certificates, marking the flight.

Feeling the rising wave of the fragile but a mighty craft as it rises terra firma is both exciting and thrilling. Of course, the view from 700 hundred meters, with the backlight of the rising sun, is beautiful.

It’s impressive to see other balloons hovering more and more in the sky. Recognizing the benefits of a sublime perspective, a view from above, and the dangerously appealing elements of quiet flight will cause ordinary mortals to kneel in awe. Fashionable cameras with exotic lenses and ordinary smartphones were constantly bustling with activity. Sit with me for a while and I’ll show you my photos.

But today I am thinking of something more beautiful, if possible, than a perspective from a height, surrounded by a dazzling sunrise. For now, I remember something far more related to the country, as a souvenir from this balloon ride in Cappadocia. What impressed me at least as much as the predictable view of paradise is the unpredictable conclusion I came to while enjoying this special deluxe, multi-layered and delicious Turkish breakfast, generously provided as part of the ticket price, “home” to our hotel in the cave, after years.

Since I intentionally exceeded the “food limit”, in the same way that my aging body defied the laws of gravity hours earlier in the day, it occurred to me that I had just been a participant in a huge undertaking, made up of many moving parts, with one, one goal.

Beyond the obvious capitalist conclusion that this morning’s adventure offers employment to hundreds of otherwise impoverished Turkish families, with my cap for sermon and article writers, I was taken by one single and inevitable conclusion.

It occurred to me strongly that every person I met that morning, as well as many I had not met, or would never meet, was committed to only one goal in those morning moments: he or she, young or old experienced or novice, Erdogan’s sympathizer. government or a member of a loyal opposition – each person worked hard to achieve only one goal. And that goal was to lift me up.

Regardless of the role, these are mostly anonymous characters played in the morning drama, the goal was always the same. The corporate exercise was aimed at lifting me, Janice and all more than 1000 people more than we were before the flight.

Oh, what a wonderful metaphor! How applicable today is the ubiquitous, sharp and eerie comments on social media, especially among Christians of different beliefs. In the midst of the suffocating air that now pollutes our social, spiritual and moral atmosphere, how refreshing it is to be a refuge for hundreds of people, united in a single goal to elevate other human beings.

Isn’t that the goal the Almighty was instructing all of us when Jesus came in the flesh and invited his followers to join him?

Bob Newell

Bob Newell he served as a university professor and administrator, a local church pastor, and an intercultural missionary. He and his wife, Janice, now live in Georgetown, Texas, and he serves the churches as a transitional coach and a deliberate temporary pastor. They were the founders and other advocates of PORTA, the Albanian House in Athens, Greece.

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