Tag Archives: Travel

In the City

I live in Randburg, on the outskirts of the greater Johannesburg Metropolitan area. I go into the centre of Johannesburg as little as possible. First of all there is the traffic going into town and clogging up the streets once you get there. Then, some areas have reputations for crime and lawlessness. Finally, I remember the city as full of litter, noise, bustle and crowds – much like other big cities worldwide.

Just before Christmas there was a special on a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Johannesburg and my husband and I thought we’d grab the opportunity.

Our bus

I was in for a pleasant surprise. The first place we left the bus at was Zoo Lake.

It was quiet and peaceful with a couple of security guards, some joggers, cyclists and a family or two. What a contrast to my mind’s picture of a city.

The next place we explored was the mining district in the centre of town where the stock exchange and banks are. It was a Saturday and the streets were very quiet. We found a quaint coffee bar and enjoyed a cappuccino. The proprietor told us it was very quiet on Saturdays because most people work from Monday to Friday.

Along a street, which was part walkway, mining artifacts and history information boards preened. “Look at us!” they invited.

Our next stop was Gold Reef City Hotel. It was a short stop so the driver could refresh himself and we decided to stay with the bus rather than wander around Gold Reef City which is a day’s outing on its own.

Finally we got to what I’d been waiting for all morning – SciBono, a science and technology discovery centre. We spent two hours there. As a scientist, I was more interested in the centre than my husband was but it’s a wonderful gem in the heart of Newtown.

Our last stop before our loop ended was Constitution Hill, where we saw the flame of democracy. We could have taken a tour but my husband had done it before and I was just toured out.

We had a wonderful day and my view of my own city has changed from a mostly negative picture to something more positive and even uplifting.

This positive attitude to cities in general was reinforced by our sermon on Sunday where Pastor Richard told us that God loves cities. God loves people and He loves cities because that is where more people are.

Tim Keller, in his “Theology of Cities” writes about the New Jerusalem, “This city is the Garden of Eden remade. The city is the fulfillment of the purposes of the Eden of God. We began in a garden but will end in a city: God’s purpose for humanity is urban!”

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions:” (John 14:2 KJV). That implies a city. I’d never thought of it before.

My Prayer

Father God, thank You for designing cities. Thank You that one day I can live in the New Jerusalem because Jesus has gone to prepare a place for me. Amen.

This post is part of JusJoJan

Worry, worry, worry, worry

“Why worry, worry, worry, worry, when you can pray,” ended the old Sunday school song.

Paul put it more maturely, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7 NIV.)

Notice what Paul does not say. He does not say all your requests will be granted. Rather, he says you will have peace. Is peace the opposite of anxiety?

Jesus also had something to say about anxiety and worry. In Matthew 6:31-33 he says, “So do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Seeking God’s kingdom is no light thing. It means putting yourself under God’s kingship, letting Him reign in your life. As I have discovered from my attempts to be a servant, it is not easy and it does not come naturally.  Jesus emphasizes that God is our Father and he knows what we need.

When I was a little girl, sometimes on a journey home at night in our little car, one of my parents would say, “I think we are lost.” Being lost is a terrifying thing for a child, yet my brother and I didn’t worry. We knew Mom and Dad would find the way. We just went to sleep in the car. I think that is how our Father would like us to trust Him. Sure, bumps come along in life and sometimes we seem lost. But our Father has enough power, wisdom and love to get us home safely. So let’s not worry, worry, worry, worry when we can pray.

sleeping girl

Coffee with Wings #14

On Saturday we saw our son off at the Gautrain Station. The train would take him to the airport where he embarked on his  Great Adventure.  It would take 24 hours to reach his destination and this is the verse I left with him.

I am sending an angel ahead of you. He will protect you as you travel. He will lead you to the place I have prepared. (ICB)

We know that God has prepared the place for him because divine fingerprints can be seen in all the events that have led up to this point. May the verse inspire and help anybody else who is travelling. God know where you are going and why and He will go with you.