Summary: No matter how good the trip it is good to be back home. Citizenship is in heaven
Home Sweet Home
It had been years since Renee and I got away for a real vacation. Years ago when the kids were small we went to Disney World. We did go on one of the weekend cruse ship things once that was about 6 years ago.
So now we had a once in a life time experience. We flew to Malta had a brief tour then boarded a 300 foot sailing ship with 60 other travelers. We were shown sights and fed fantastic meals.
I have some observations of this journey that I want to share.
They talk funny over there.
Everyplace we went, they had their own language and we hardly understood any of it. It was not that we could not communicate; most of them had an understanding of what we wanted. You can buy souvenirs and get a $5 bottle of water with no problem. But it was pretty obvious that we were not from around there. We dressed different and obviously could not read the traffic signs.
Another observation, they drive like maniacs over there. It will be hard for me to complain about Atlanta traffic after this trip. It is not the speed that I am talking about. It is how the motor scooters zip in and out of traffic. How they scoot between cars .. no lane , just enough space to clear the mirrors. They will even use the opposite traffic lane if no one happens to be using it, sometimes even if they are. They seem to have no fear of busses or trucks they will drive right through a crowd of tourist. The horn sound still rings I my ears.
The countries are old. I guess I forget that our country is so young, 300 or so years of history. As we traveled over there we looked a buildings and archeological history hundreds of years before Christ walked on this earth. We toured churches that were built on the ancient sights of pagan temples and have survived WWII bombings. They have deep roots over there. Everything looks old and the traditions seem old and rigid.
In many ways we felt like we did not belong. We toured with others from the ship acting like our own little country or large family. We stuck together following our tour leader and watching out for each other. I believe we all had a since of being strangers and a need to loosely cling to our new association with each other. This gave us a feeling of safety in and environment that was foreign to all of us.
We had several things in common. When we first came together we were total strangers, however: we came to the ship with an expectation that we would see some fantastic things and be safe. We had brochures and maps that described the promises of what was to come. We all expected that we would be seeing some things and doing some things that were different and even foreign to our normal day. We had all traveled thousands of miles on the promises given by the tour company.
In a way I guess that was a form of faith. We had some promises and expectations and believed that they could and would be fulfilled.
That sort of describes how Christians are to view this world.
Our scripture talks of people with faith and how they admitted being aliens in a foreign land. Christians have a citizenship which is different than this world, This world, the united states is a foreign country. We are different from the environment around us. We have a different language and customs and standards that many of the people around us.
In a church we are traveling thru this world and culture, supporting each other and hopefully touching outsiders along the way.
The scripture today describes people of faith that reached for promises that were not fulfilled in their life time. These people have a patience and a view that let them remain faithful when the promises did not happen in their life time. Just because the promise was not yet visible they did not chuck their faith.
The scriptures are full of people that lived in foreign lands as strangers or aliens with no rights. God sent them with a verbal promise and they went. They were looked on suspiciously and attacked. Where was their proof that the promises were true? Where was the land or the children?
Their lives seemed to be a trip with no destination, no tour and on timely great meal. As far as they could see, nothing was happening.
How could they hold on to their faith without tangible results?
They trusted the one that made the promises. God
Personally, I find traveling to be pretty uncomfortable. I am a get there quick because “the place I am going is my goal” person. I want to start and get there as fast as possible because the travel is not a part of the vacation. I want the traveling part over so I can enjoy myself.