While I was in Israel, one of my favorite places that we visited was the garden of Gethsemane. This is the recognized location where Jesus went to pray on the night that He was handed over to the authorities to be killed. There was something amazing and beautiful about this location. The garden was well taken care of, so that added to the beauty. But there was something even more beautiful that cannot be captured in an image.
It was incredible to think of what the Bible tells us happened here some 2000 years ago. The Church has placed a church on this location and inside of this church there are some incredible mosaics depicting the time that Jesus spent here that night. Can you even imagine what Jesus was thinking, and going through that evening?
Thomas a Kempis tries to help us think about what that would have been like for Jesus. What I appreciate most about this is that he tries to help us get a better baseline on our own condition too.
When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need. He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything?
I have been commuting 90 minutes each way for the last two months to get back and forth from home to Liquid’s office. It has definitely taken a toll on me. I loose three hours a day to my car. Let me tell you, this is not fun. I find that I can slip into periods of lengthy complaining and think nothing of it. I may grow agitated because I hit traffic on the way home, or the price of gas puts a death grip on my budget. Kempis provides a new baseline for me. Jesus was willing to suffer and die for me, and He did not complain. What basis do I have to complain about traffic being slow? It certainly puts things into perspective. My Lord was crushed so that I could be spared. It is time for me to pony up and quit complaining so much.
Okay, there you go. I spoke first. Your turn. What do you need to stop complaining about?
bonus… Here are some pictures that I took at the Garden of Gethsemane and in the church.