by Jeremiah Smith, (who is in Jerusalem for 3 months at Succat Hallel- a 24-7 prayer and worship centre)
I remember hearing somewhere that the best way to quit smoking is to travel to another country. There’s something about leaving everything you “know” that makes it easier to break that addiction. Being here in Jerusalem I’ve experienced something similar on the spiritual level.
Before I left Ottawa I felt overly comfortable. Life was predictable, easy in some ways. Much like smoking I was living addicted to comfort. There were no big challenges; nothing that would disturb or rock my boat (life).
Coming to Israel it feels like I’ve woken up. I’ve broken out of that bubble which is comfort, just “being”, and living life for “me”. Here in Israel it’s different.
For example, the apartment I’m living in right now. We have 7 guys in there. It’s tight! Everyday each of us is being challenged to show grace & patience. And, as hard as it is, it’s causing my heart to GROW. In the crucible, in the fire, I am learning humility, patience, persevering in love.
The same feeling of “aliveness” is everywhere here in Jerusalem. The stakes are high. There is no such thing as a calm peaceful life. The possibility of another Intifada (uprising) is a constant threat. Yet, I think it makes people live more fully here. There’s a sense that everything could change in an instant, and so people live each day to its fullest.
Jerusalem is not for the faint of heart. The Kingdom of God is for those willing to take risks. I feel that I’m being challenged, as if God is saying, “Will you take the risk? Would you give it all, your very life, for the sake of my kingdom?” Will I say, like Paul, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain?” It’s time to break out of the ordinary.
You can read more of Jeremiah’s own blog at this web address: http://roughbrokenroad.wordpress.com/