“After we sighted Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we sailed on to Syria and arrived at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there.” (Acts 21:3)
Luke detailed their sea journey toward Jerusalem: Cos, Rhodes, Patara, then, a ship change to one heading toward Israel’s coast. They sighted Cyprus, got their bearing, and moved on toward Tyre.
It all sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Luke treats it like a trained navigator, checking off each place on a checklist. No comments added. Maybe none were needed, but thoughts had to have raced through Paul’s mind. Very likely some emotions welled up within his heart. Memories.
Cyprus. Barnabas was from there. This had been the first stop on their first missionary journey. Sergius Paulus. Elymas the magician. John Mark. Cyprus was the destination of Barnabas and John Mark after they stormed off, following Barnabas’ argument with Paul. For Paul, Cyprus was the last known location of Barnabas.
It likely took them most of a day if not longer to pass by Cyprus. Lots of time to think.
Sometimes we need to pass by our previous experiences. Slowly. It can help with the ones to come.
Lord, Help us to take the time to reflect over those experiences of life today You want us to learn from. Amen.