(Written by Kane Crawford)
Today we drove south towards Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon. Wadi Rum is the largest valley in Jordan and was made famous by the writings of T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia). As we traveled, we began to see a more authentic side of Jordanian living as we passed through small settlements that did not have as much of a tourist vibe as other locations we had visited so far. It was here that I was able to take in the new sights and sounds of the culture. I am pleased to say that I was greeted with many friendly faces and genuine hospitality.
After lunch, we set out on a jeep ride straight out into the middle of the desert. Our camels met us halfway to take us to the rest of the way to a Bedouin settlement hidden away in the ravine of one of the mountains. Here, we were able to shop, share hot tea and meet the locals. On our way back, we were able to take in the breathtaking sights of the desert sunset.
During our stay at Wadi Rum, we enjoyed the sites of the untamed desert from our little resort-like campsite nestled against the mountain. We were surrounded with Arabian food, music and culture and feeling welcomed into their lifestyle is still one of the many highlights of my trip. It was a strange feeling to be standing in the soft sand that spread as far and wide as I could see in all directions, I tried to imagine what it would be like living in the wilderness of this area as many Bedouin (nomads) still do to this day.
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die. Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God.” – Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV
The very thought of us living off the land, roaming from place to place with only our essentials and our families is completely foreign to us here in Australia. Imagine what it would be like; no phone reception, no internet data, no television. It really highlights how materialistic our lives can be! In many unspoken ways, what we own and what we have is who we are. Seeing how the Bedouin lived, happily, I might add, out in the open with no home to call their own, opened my eyes to how rewarding simple living could be. They live day to day, only enjoying their daily bread and their community with one another.
TODAY: Let’s set ourselves a challenge. Unplug for one day – no T.V, no social media, turn your phones off and hide them away. I wonder what a day without material or financial distractions would reveal to us. Would it maybe show us that the luxuries of modern life draw our eyes away from so many things God would prefer us to be paying attention to? Let’s take note of what God is saying to us in the quiet, away from the noise. Let’s remember that naked we were born into the world and naked we shall depart, and that there is a lesson to be learned about how materialism can sometimes be our greatest hurdle in life.