Early Christian, Medieval Travel Journal-Day 1

Dinner in Rome

Day one of the GSB Early Christian, Medieval Travel Tour consisted of 10 hours of flying, nearly as many hours waiting, but little time complaining, thanks to United Airlines’s Polaris Lounge and their onboard entertainment, all of which is designed to make the process of modern travel less unbearable.

Unfortunately, there was no sleep to be had, and so by the end of day one, we had all been up nearly 36 hours. I realize there are only 24 hours in a day, but there was a 7 hour time change, and I feel like we lost some others hours in there somehow. Anyway, the definitive ending of the solar day was no consolation for our bodies which cried out for sleep but was deprived of it by our conditions and determined will to beat them into a circadian rhythm consistent with our European home for the next two weeks.

I passed the time reading Theodora, book #6 on the GSB travel tour reading list, and watching 4 movies, The Big Lebowski, Sideways, The Devil Wears Prada, and Ordinary People. The Wife watched The Duke.

The Big Lebowski is the story of a determined slacker who unwittingly gets pulled into a complex web of nihilists, pornographers, and the nouveau rich. Sideways is a story about two middle-aged former college roommates that explores the complexities of personality in the context of a metaphor about wine. The Devil Wears Prada is a movie about a young woman who attempts to survive working for a successful, demanding editor of a famous fashion magazine. And Ordinary People is a story about a teenager attempting to cope with the death of his older brother and his family’s response to it.

What drives each movie is the story of the life of the protagonist, and they are all interesting and entertaining stories. The Big Lebowski begins with Sam Elliott sitting at a bar telling the viewer the story he is about tell is so interesting and unbelievable that having witnessed it himself he now can “die with a smile on my face not feeling like the good Lord gypped me.”

One could also say that about the life of Theodora, the Apostle Paul, Constantine the Great, Savonarola, and the other Christians whose lives we will explore on this tour, but with the added significance that their lives advanced the kingdom of God on earth. Jesus didn’t command his followers to “Go out and live happy, interesting lives,” but to “go and make disciples,” and thereby change the world. Matthew 28:18-20. Such lives transcend their times by contributing to an administration that will carry on the same purpose until its victorious consummation at the return of Jesus.

We ended our day outside at a restaurant in downtown Rome (see pic above), discussing these movies and our plans for Day 2, and by the time we had walked up the street to our hotel we were all ready for a good nights’ sleep.

Until tomorrow. GS

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