The 'five most romantic towns in the world': The cost and joy of fulfilling our call

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The ‘five most romantic towns in the world’: The cost and joy of fulfilling our call

February 13, 2020 - Jim Denison, PhD

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Travel Trivia has listed the “five most romantic towns in the world.”

No. 5 is Santorini, Greece. I’ve visited there several times while leading biblical study tours of Greece and Turkey. This iconic village you’ve seen in posters of Greece (white walls with blue roofs) is more beautiful in person than it is in photos. Watching the sunset on the ocean is worth the trip.

No. 4 is Bruges, Belgium. The article notes that it has the most medieval structures of any city in Europe. I’ve not visited, so I can’t render an opinion.

No. 3 is Kyoto, Japan, with entire shrines devoted to love. Since the only place in Japan I’ve visited is the Tokyo airport, I’ll have to take their word for it.

No. 2 is Paris, France, for obvious reasons. But as with Japan, I’ve only seen the inside of the airport. (I tend to travel overseas where I can lead biblical study tours, and, sadly, we have no confirmation that Paul ever visited the City of Light.)

No. 1 is Venice, Italy. While it’s not a biblical site, it’s on the way to places that are. Thus, I can attest personally to the beauty of its canals and quality of its food.

The cost and joy of fulfilling our call

Here’s my point: we tend to be down on what we’re not up on.

I’m less interested in places I’ve not seen than in places I have. We appreciate books we understand and movie plots we can follow more than those we cannot.

In some ways, the reverse should be true. I should list all the places I should visit but haven’t, then make a plan to see them. I should try harder with books and movies I find hard to follow. What I don’t know I should seek to know.

On the other hand, it is important for us to do most what we do best. Work within your spiritual gifts; stay within your kingdom assignment. None of us can do what all of us can do, so identifying and fulfilling our calling is vital (1 Corinthians 12:27).

Here’s the balance: do what we are made to do, but never stop trying to do it better.

Paul knew he was called to be “apostle to the Gentiles,” a purpose to which he devoted his life with focus and discipline (Romans 11:13). Throughout his life, he sought to “press on” to fulfill this calling (Philippians 3:12).

Imprisoned near the end of his life, he asked Timothy to bring him “the books, and above all the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13). He was not done until he was done.

Nor are we.

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