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"Riding a Camel - Ship of the Desert" - by Rev. Weldon Bares

It was a place that I thought I would never visit and an activity that I thought I would never do. On a recent trip to Morocco our group spent two nights in a desert camp in the Sahara Desert.

It was as hot as I thought it would be, but it was more magical that I ever dreamed. The beauty of the vast sand dunes, the vastness of the stars at night, the sunrise and sunset. We even experienced a dust storm. I could see God’s fingerprints all over the place.

Perhaps the most surreal experience was riding a camel for around an hour. The camel is called, “the ship of the desert.” A ship is surrounded by a vast sea of water and the camel is surrounded by a vast sea of sand. I have to say that riding a camel was not very comfortable.

I was reminded of some important life lessons on the camel ride. (1) When life is uncomfortable or even jolting, you have to hold on with all you’ve got. (2) Focus on the moment. I was tempted to focus on taking pictures or other things until I thought to myself, “Think about where you are and what you are doing and the amazing experience of right now.”

(3) Listen carefully to the guide. He gave valuable instructions about holding on tightly and leaning forward when the camel gets up, and holding on tightly and leaning backward when the camel kneels down for you to get off. Without that warning, I would have been catapulted into the desert sand.

If we listen carefully, very carefully, God will whisper to us some important things, even on a rough ride on the ship of the desert.

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