Today Is Life, Tommorow Never Comes

Trip Start Sep 11, 2005
Trip End Dec 13, 2005

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Today is Life, Tomorrow Never Comes
November 12, 2005

In November Matala is not as much a beach town as it is a ghost town. There were no hotels open and only one little snack bar to try and find dinner. We managed to find a lady to rent a room from. It is not my dream beach vacation, but it is fine.

We walked to the beach which has alcoves carved out of the cliff, overlooking the beach. The cliff was used as a Roman cemetery many years ago. This was then taken over by hippies in the sixties and now no one is allowed to sleep there. It does make a nice setting for the beach. What we have found is not a long beach to walk, but a narrow cove surrounded by cliffs. I hope to hike around and see what else we can find.

Right now Charlie is asleep and I am sitting out on the patio writing. There is little point in waking him up. There is nowhere to get breakfast and the mini market is supposed to possibly open at 11:00. I am hoping to find some milk to eat with our cereal we have in our packs. Charlie will undoubtedly be on the search for coffee. If we just had hot water we could make our own. I am thinking that peanut butter and jelly sounds good for lunch. We even have some left over Chex Mix from our stop to the Navy base. Right now I will be as creative as I need to be so I don't have to eat snack bar food again.

I keep asking God what He is trying to teach us in this trip to Crete. What am I supposed to learn in this detour and in this trip as a whole? God seems to keep telling me to just be patient and wait on Him. I think of Abraham and Sarah and their desire for a child, they waited a really long time for God's faithfulness to be clear to them. So we will keep waiting, hopefully we can learn from them and not doubt God's ability to do what He promises. (This is not mentioned because we are in the hopes of having a child, no one get the wrong idea.) There is no doubt that He will continue to take care of us. Our desire is to be used by God to our fullest potential. It is hard to know the best way for that to happen. So we will keep waiting, trusting, praying, and being as active as we can so God can head us in the direction He needs.

Someone at some point in my life said that it is easier to guide something that is already moving than something that is sitting still. So we will keep our eyes on Christ for the direction He wants us to go and keep making steps heading somewhere. Maybe we will have to take a few steps back this way, but hopefully lessons will be learned.

Calm days in the middle of nowhere are good. They give me time to think. I usually love them to be surrounded by ultimate beauty. I am not sure that Matala is the place for that, but I have no doubt we will enjoy the scenery that surrounds us.

Later On in the Day
We were able to greatly enjoy our time here in Matala. We found a café and grabbed some morning drinks. It was nice to sit and relax with no itinerary of what we needed to do today. After our morning drinks we decided to go for a walk to try and find another beach. A sign at the end of our road said Red Beach and had an arrow pointing toward the end of the road. So we headed up that way.

What we found was that the road ended fairly quickly so we began climbing up into the hills. We saw traces that sheep had been here before, and some other folks had ventured this way as well. So we kept walking. We couldn't see any water, or the Red Beach, so we continued our upward climb. It was quite a hike, but great to get away from civilization and experience nature as God created it, beautiful. Eventually we reached the top of the cliff and were able to see water for miles. The sun was glistening overhead and it was amazing.

Once I saw the crystal clear blue water I wanted to get as close to it as I could. I dreamed of finding some remote cove with a small beach and this same gorgeous water. So we continued on, trying to find a way to get to the water. Along the way we found a few caves that looked like they were being lived in. Although it seemed like we were the only people for miles, we did see a man. We weren't sure if he was one of the people living in the caves or a fisherman out trying to catch some fish. We headed away from him and toward the edge of the water.

We maneuvered down various rocks and rough terrain until we were as close as we could get to the water. The water was incredible, but the rocks surrounding it were sharp and uninviting. I managed to get to a place where I could soak my feet. It was perfect. This day in the middle of nowhere was just what we needed.

After our refreshing break near the water we found our way to some comfy rocks. We took some time to be with God and praise Him for the beauty which surrounded us. We were not sure why He brought us here, but He surely showed us that this place is beautiful. When our eyes are on the wondrous world He has created there is no question of the beauty. It is when people have built their own world in the midst of it that it can dampen the beauty in some way. We greatly enjoyed stepping away from that and simply enjoyed the time with God in His creation.

Charlie says the area looked like northern New Mexico and it reminded him of his backpacking trips to Utah. To me it looked like a lot of rock, cliffs and desert surrounded by a beautiful deep blue sea. We enjoyed climbing, hiking, and just being together. It was a great hike in the middle of a great day.

We then found out that the mini mart finally did decide to open so we were able to grab a few snacks and have lunch. We wanted to check out the Roman cemetery and caves by the beach. We climbed up and saw the burial grounds and hippie hang out. We then decided to hang our ourselves. The sun was hanging high overhead and it was a great place to enjoy the view.

We watched a few people come and go but stayed planted for the sunset. What a lovely evening we had sitting on the cliff watching God show off. The clouds helped add to the masterpiece, allowing the sun to play a bit of hide and seek. We sat and took it all in, thanking God for bringing us here.

Spray painted along the side of the sea wall are the words Today is Life, Tomorrow Never Comes. When I first saw it I kind of smiled but then went on about my way. The server in the café had the words on his shirt, along with a caption that said this was the spirit of Matala. As we reflect back on the day we would have to agree with Matala. Today is life, may we live each day with that in mind.

I will say that we had our doubts about Matala, but it has worked out for the best. We had a great hike followed by an incredible evening watching the sun set. We are now trying to figure out how to stay warm in our room which has no heat. We've got on all the warm clothes we can find and are praying that we can sleep through the night. We'll wake up tomorrow and we hope a bus comes our way to take us back to Iraklio. From there we fly to Istanbul. Then we head to Asia, it should be interesting and very different. We'll let you know.
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