I love to travel and have an extensive list of ”must see” places. It is easier to list where I’m not interested than where I do want to go. I have a friend who asked me where I wanted to travel and my answer was “England, England and England”. Egypt, on the other hand, was on the list but way down toward the bottom. It seemed less accessible than places in Europe but most of all it flat intimidated me. I thought I would put off going for 10 or 20 years. The Universe had a different plan.
When I think of England I think of a warm and welcoming mother who invites you to pull up a chair and have a cup of tea by the fire, green and lush, flowers and sheep. All my favorite things. On the other hand Egypt seemed harsh and intense and loud and demanding and very foreign . Not the usual things I like to spend money on. One late night I was talking to my brother and out of the blue he said to me “I’m sending you to Egypt”. Well, I guess I’m going sooner than I planned. Now it wasn’t my desire it was a summons. I felt summoned to court to stand before the gods that I had long studied. They don’t take no for an answer.
January of 2009 I took my first pilgrimage to Egypt and it was foreign alright. Met by sand and noise and intense traffic where lanes are merely a suggestion, I got my first look at that sacred land and I was in LOVE. I still stood up straight and minded my manners for my “hearing” but I knew that I wasn’t getting sentenced but rather instructed. Each site had a different message for me, sometimes it was a phrase or an emotion or a song.
Every day of that fateful trip was intense. Each day was its own lifetime but I knew that “for this day I was born”. I said it every day. There is much to tell and it will take a bit of time to get the story told so I’m going to start at the end of those two weeks.
The last stop was the Sphinx. I had just been inside the Great Pyramid and the group had paid for private time at the paws of the Sphinx. It was early morning and there were no crowds. The Antiquities Inspector let us through the gate for, normally, visitors are only allowed on the causeway above. As I came to greet the Sphinx I saw that its open arms held a secret. There is a stela right in front of the heart which tells the story of Prince Tuthmosis’ dream. The Sphinx promised him the throne in exchange for clearing the sand from its body. I walked up to that stela and touched it. My message from the Sphinx came flooding in my mind. It was nothing I would have ever expected, a Bible verse, one I had not thought of for many years.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight. Psalm 19:14
The message was a dedication, the opening ceremony for the next step in my life, a promise that my life would be dedicated to the sacred knowledge of Egypt. I’ve now been back to Egypt twice more and will go many more times. Each time has been special but that first experience can never be duplicated. It was an ancient book I was allowed to open and turn to the first pages of the introduction.