just (rome)ing around

ROME!!! Our final destination before we leave Italy 🙁

For our first day in Rome, we saw quite a bit. Professor Duclaux took us to a few churches, the Trevi Fountain, the Forum and the Colosseum.
The Trevi Fountain was much larger than what I had expected from pictures. I remember clutching my purse the entire time because of the massive amount of people and the many warnings we had been given about pick-pocketing in Rome. The fountain was magnificent, with elegantly detailed and life-like statues gracing the white rocks above crystal blue water. I found it rather funny that you could actually drink the water if you so desired. I decided I didn’t want to fight the crowd to get in a position close enough to drink it.

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I think my favorite part of today was The Forum. We all sat together in the middle of the Forum as Professor Duclaux described the history of the destruction around us. He explained everything in such a fascinating and engaging way that even the random people around him stopped to listen. I watched a mom motion for her family to stay and listen because although the scenery is amazing to behold, it is even more incredible when you understand the story behind it.

I really enjoyed sitting and taking in the beauty of the destroyed architecture around us and picturing what it must have looked like in its original form. I cannot imagine living in that time period and being apart of a culture that is so different than my own.

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After the forum, we headed for the highly anticipated colosseum. My favorite book takes place during the Roman Empire when Christians were sent to the arena for refusing to bow down and proclaim the emperor as all-powerful. The book is about a Christian martyr who is so dedicated to the Lord that she lays down her life to proclaim the truth. I was overwhelmed and awe-struck to be in the exact place where thousands of Christians sacrificed their lives for the Savior of the world. It made examine my own faith and think about how I would respond if faced with the decision to denounce the Lord and live or speak the truth and be ruthlessly slaughtered for all to see.

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The colosseum revealed to me just how selfish I am. I think it would honestly be a hard decision for me if faced with that choice. I know my life is pointless and has no purpose if I am not following in the path the Lord has set for me. But, sometimes I really struggle with understanding what that path is and if I am even on it. I have a lot of doubts and there is so much about this life that I love. It is so hard to not get comfortable and to be open to wherever the Lord takes you when you are encouraged to make plans and declare a major right after high school. I have to constantly remind myself that I am not here for myself but that I am here to serve and love others. I have to consciously think about the things I am prioritizing in my life and if they have become an unhealthy idol. Even my friends can become major distractions and I find myself more upset when distanced from them than when their is distance in my relationship with my heavenly Father. I am thankful for the truth I am seeing on this trip and the growth taking place in my spiritual life. I am feeling a new passion for Him being reignited and that is not something I had thought would happen. What a sweet surprise.

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