Ah, Jet Lag


Several hours of being wide-awake last night. 

The gift of wakefulness is an opportunity to read another short story by Alice Munro.  Last night I came across this paragraph from her exquisite story, “Runaway,” in which a woman is describing a recent trip to Greece:

“Where I was, this little village, this little tiny village with my two old friends, well, it was the sort of place where the very occasional tourist bus would stop, just as if it had got lost, and the tourists would get off and look around and they were absolutely bewildered because they weren’t anywhere.  There was nothing to buy.”

I didn’t laugh out loud at 4:00 AM, because that would have woken up Patty.  But I smiled as loudly as I could!  There weren’t many people on the trip who looked for something to buy at each stop.  But, still.  There were some …

The heavy rain last night made me think of the reason why we had to spend an extra day at the kibbutz Ein Gedi.  In that part of Israel, there is no vegetation on the mountains, nothing to stop the water from running off, digging deep gullies in the soil.  After that highly unusual sustained heavy rain, the government had to send out heavy machinery to clear mudslides that were blocking Highway 90.  When we were able to head north the next day, we could easily see the massive brown places in the Dead Sea where muddy water had drained into it.


About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Andy Ballentine loves being a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with the thesis topic of: "How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry." He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine has served as Dean of the Peninsula Conference and as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process (those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church). He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!