But I will. Before I get to the start of the Jesus Trail, I’ll arrive in Israel to take a train and a bus. And that’s if I persevere. Otherwise it’s an expensive cab ride.
The Jesus Trail is the brainchild of two very patient backpackers, David Landis and Maoz Inon. They met while traveling the 620-mile Israel National Trail. Come to find out they both shared a love of nature, but they also shared something more profound: They wanted to give travelers an unvarnished experience of Galilee. An adventure that would go beyond the suffering of the west bank and the ticky-tack of the tourism sites. Landis and Maoz hoped people would experience the richness and breadth of all who had called this land home throughout the centuries. They put almost $150,000 of their own money along with thousands of hours into creating The Jesus Trail.
The trail winds through the places Jesus had once walked: Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum, But it also transverses the ruins of the Byzantine churches, utilizes the roads cut by the Crusaders, and runs through Arab towns as well as kibbutz fields, Druze temples and Bedouin encampments.
I did this hike because I wanted to experience something rich and deep. Now, sitting at JFK for a few hours while I wait to board my flight to Tel Aviv. I’ve started to worry. I’m worried the path will be too lonely for me. I’m worried the hike will be too difficult for me.
I had imagined rolling hills, but a leisurely search at the hotel bar just brought up this more distressing image:
Good grief. This looks like I need gear. Real gear. As in more gear than some good hiking boots, thermal layers and water. Gulp.
Up to now, my biggest worry has ranged from the holy, “What scripture passage should I memorize?” To the base, “Do they serve wine at a Kibbutz?”. Now I’m just hoping I make it. Once again, the bigger challenge has a way of ordering the lessor worries.
The next time I write I’ll be in Nazareth. Probably at a hiking store buying gear.
If you’re reading this and are feeling so inclined, I would appreciate your prayers. Prayers that I won’t chicken out. Prayers that the vision of Landis & Inon would be sensed by the various travelers on the way, and prayers that I would experience that deep and rich experience of walking the same hills Jesus walked.