Sometimes things go bump in the night. I made my camp last night just north of the town of Kargi. The spot I chose was near a bend of the road and right up the embankment from the lake I was walking past. Honestly, it wasn’t the best of spots but it was full on dark already and if I didn’t stop there the next possible spot might have been miles ahead and still no better.
I was still walking a major highway and the sound of each car that passed was accompanied by the running silhouette of nearby foliage against my tent. Occasionally I could hear the distant thunder of a plane passing by as well. In addition to these human sounds I could also hear the frogs singing down at the lake. Crickets and cicadas made accompaniment as well as a host of other lakeside wildlife.
I was drifting off to that point where the sounds of my environment combined with my wandering thoughts were starting to turn dreamlike. Suddenly I was jolted wide awake. Something sounded off. I strained to listen and at first I couldn’t tell what it was. Then I heard it again. Something was walking on the gravel towards my tent. It was too light, faint, and irregular to be human. On the other hand, I think it was making a bit too much noise to be a dog or a cat.
Then another car drove by and what I saw what was silhouetted against my tent I almost laughed. It was a duck. This little guy had the audacity to walk almost right up next to my tent, alongside it, and then down to the lake. Sure enough, a couple minutes later, I could hear a bunch of them quacking away down on the lake. I can’t say I have given it much thought but I never imagined ducks as being nocturnal animals.
That set me thinking, how unique of an experience was this missionary journey for Paul and crew. We know Paul himself was a tent maker and a Roman citizen from Tarsus living in Jerusalem and traveling to Damascus when the Lord stepped into his life. Apparently he got around. We don’t have so much of a back story for men like Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, or Luke.
Can you imagine Timothy as a young teen on his first night out with the missionary team? Everyone else is sleeping. Silas’ snores are worse than a rusty saw on green wood. Timothy can’t sleep. Suddenly, there is something that goes bump in the night. How far out of their comfort zone did these missionary journeys take these heroes of the faith? How big of a sacrifice even in little ways was their obedience to the cause of Christ?