"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sojourners in a strange land...

Travel puts life in perspective, the perspective of history, of brevity of time, of insignificance, of what is important and not important. When settled, we tend to think we are in charge of our lives, that we "own" material goods, that we are permanent, the  the center of the universe. We forget, or are afraid to face, that we are on a journey, that we are merely sojourners in a strange land. When I travel, I always know I'm just "passing through." I love the word "sojourner." It helps me appreciate present tense.

1 Chronicles 29:15, Hebrew Old Testament:כִּֽי־גֵרִ֨ים אֲנַ֧חְנוּ לְפָנֶ֛יךָ וְתֹושָׁבִ֖ים כְּכָל־אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ כַּצֵּ֧ל ׀ יָמֵ֛ינוּ עַל־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְאֵ֥ין מִקְוֶֽה

New International Version (©2011)

We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.
New Living Translation (©2007)
We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
English Standard Version (©2001)
For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
For we live before You as foreigners and temporary residents in Your presence as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.
International Standard Version (©2012)
For we are aliens and vagrants in your presence, as were all of our ancestors. Our days on the earth pass away like shadows, and we have no hope.
NET Bible (©2006)
For we are resident foreigners and nomads in your presence, like all our ancestors; our days are like a shadow on the earth, without security.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
To you we are all like our ancestors- foreigners without permanent homes. Our days are as fleeting as shadows on the ground. There's no hope [for them].
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For we are strangers before you, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding.
American King James Version
For we are strangers before you, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
American Standard Version
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding.
Douay-Rheims Bible
For we are sojourners before thee, and strangers, as were all our fathers. Our days upon earth are as a shadow, and there is no stay.
Darby Bible Translation
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no hope of life.
English Revised Version
For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding.
World English Bible
For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no remaining.

--Photo--climbing the stairs from underground, up into the floor of the Roman amphitheater in Trier, Germany, where gladiators faced death. Photo by Vance Clark

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