Jose Luis Navajo pastors the Iglesia Evangelica Salem in Madrid, Spain. In his book Mondays with My Old Pastor (Nelson, 2012), Navajo recounts the formative conversations he had during his weekly visits with his own pastor. As Jose says, "Sometimes all we need is a reminder from someone who has walked before us." This excerpt begins with the old pastor telling a story.
"Rachel and I used to spend our summers in a small fishing village on the Alicante coastland. It's a peaceful place that still maintains the traditions of the fisherman from years ago. We loved going down to the harbor in the late afternoon to watch the ships come in that had been out working since early in the morning. A number of times we went to the traditional fish market, where the different businesses and restaurant owners bid to take home the best fish at the best price. But one of the most special times of our vacations happened one night in July.
"It was when they lit up what they called 'the castle of fireworks' on the beach. The same event happened each year. When it would start to get dark, the crowd would get as close to the sea as possible. At midnight, they would turn off the lights on the boardwalk, and everything would be plunged in total darkness.
"Suddenly, the first firework would streak up into the air and explode high above, turning into a million flashes of different colors. That was just the beginning.
"From that moment the night sky became a canvas on which the most beautiful pictures of light were painted with fire and gunpowder. For the next fifteen minutes, the sky was filled with the sound of explosions, mixed with exclamations of admiration and amazement from those of us who ...