Motivated Determination. La Vie en Rose, Part 14

When we landed in Paris that Saturday afternoon, we had rather unrealistic ambitions: We planned to see all of Paris' historic buildings in the eight hours that was left of our day.

Eight hours?!


In order to do so, we would need to walk more than 16 kilometers, and that on jet lag!

Our room wasn't ready when we arrived at the hotel, but the patron invited us to leave our luggage in a secure place, and we set out immediately on our quest.

Our first stop was at a local grocery store for bread and water (literally!), and then we were off to the Eiffel Tower. When it was cordoned off because of a suicide attempt (see View From a Bridge), we decided to visit it the following day, and we marched off towards le Jardin du Luxembourg (Gardens of Luxembourg). We stopped briefly to admire l'Hotel des Invalides on our way, and headed for Notre Dame of Paris. Naturally we made sure our route took us by le Panthéon, la Sorbonne (The famous university of the French language), le Musée National de France (The National Museum of France) and la Conciergerie (A previous royal palace and prison).

All that walking actually felt good to me, especially after being confined to a seat in an airplane for seven hours, but unfortunately, my youngest son was dragging by this time, complaining that his stomach was upset. We wrote it off as not having had enough to eat, and we proceeded on our way.

We eventually ended up at la Place de la Bastille, where the former prison used to be (see Barbaric Bastille), and after purchasing some Parisian subs, we located some steps where we sat down for a romantic dinner amongst the feet of tourists.

It was here that we learned that my son was actually suffering from some kind of a 24 hour stomach bug. By this time we were at the farthest point in our hike, with about 8 kilometres left before arriving back at our hotel! We had no choice but to push onward! Also he insisted on going on.

We headed back towards the Arc of Triomph, visiting the Louvre and the other points of interest on the right side of the river on our way. And when we started towards the hotel and saw that the Eiffel Tower was again open, we decided to go ahead and climb it as well.

This is when we learned that my youngest son had shared his stomach bug with his brother older brother… In all we walked 16 kilometres and climbed more than 600 steps, and this with two sick teens. Not too bad for a brief 8 hours!

We slept well that night. For some it was a sleep of illness, but for all, a sleep of utter exhaustion. Thanks to our loving Heavenly father who had given us the energy, we had achieved our goal.

But isn't hindsight always so much better than foresight? Now I wonder the following: How come we, as humans, can be so determined to achieve certain goals in life, but look at the needs of our fellow human beings with such indifference?

How come we can have such a passion for insignificant achievements, when spending time with the Lover of our soul doesn't even make it to our to-do list?

How come we are so willing to spend time, money and energy for things that seem important to us, but remain so unmoved by what is important to God: Saving the world from itself?

The apostle Paul was motivated by what important to God: His goal was to do anything and everything to bring people to God!

"I speak the truth in Christ - I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit- I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel." (Rom 9:1-4 NIV)

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved." (Rom 10:1 NIV)

Are our priorities in the right place?

"Excuse me, how far is Versailles from here?"

"16 kilometres!"

"That's not too bad. Hey guys, let's walk over there first before heading back to our hotel!"

Will you join us?

Rob Chaffart

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