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TRAVELERS VS. TOURISTS


Canadian Pastor Mark Buchanan in his book "Your Church is Too Safe" points out the radical difference between a traveler and a tourist. "A traveler literally means 'one who travails.' He labors, he suffers, endures. A traveler -- travailer - ...immerses himself in a culture, learns the language and customs, lives with the locals, imitates the dress, eats what's set before him. ... He is gone a long time. If ever he returns, he returns ever altered."


"Tourist means literally, 'one who goes in circles.' He's just taking an exotic detour home. He's only passing through, sampling wares, acquiring souvenirs. He tastes more than eats what's put before him. He retreats each night to what's safe and familiar. He picks up a word here, a phrase there, but the language, and the world it's embedded in, remain opaque and cryptic, and vaguely menacing. ...He returns to where he comes from with an album of photos, a few mementos, a cheap hat. He's happy to be back. He declares there's no place like home."


Jesus calls us to follow him not as tourists but as travelers.

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