Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Finding Nemo on Cruise Ship Buffets

"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." Philippians 3:7-9

I recently spent a wonderful week on a cruise to the Bahama's. Oh my friend, it was wonderful. I don't know if you have ever been on a cruise but it's pretty much what i think heaven is like. They have tons of pool chairs to lay around on, a nice swimming pool, various activities including shows and musical acts, and food.... oh so much food. You can pretty much find something to eat 24 hours a day. If you don't gain 15 pounds on a cruise, you did it wrong. Again, i think its as close to heaven as you can get.

On this particular cruise, we left out of port in Miami and proceeded to go south towards Freeport and Nassau. Between islands, you are cruising and it is simply miles and miles of ocean as far as you can see. It's just absolutely beautiful. There are moments in the evening as the sun is getting ready to set where the sky and the ocean blend so well together that you can tell where one begins and the other ends. And of course the sunset on the ocean is even more amazing. On a cloudless evening, the sun looks as though it is literally taking a dip into the seas. As the bright yellow sun gets closer to the water, it begins to change colors into a deep red almost as thought the water is causing it. Incredible sight.

But on these cruises, they make stops on various islands so that the people can get off the ship and explore. And they even have these things called "excursions". An excursion is some kind of adventure that you get to go on. Maybe it's swimming with the dolphins. Maybe it's biking through the island with a tour guide. Maybe it's a kayak ride across the bay. Maybe it's snorkeling. No matter what the excursion is, it promises adventure and excitement. It promises something better than what your normal life has to offer.

I had to think about this a little bit. Why in the world would people drop hundreds of dollars for something that promises adventure but is probably safer than you sitting in your recliner at home. I mean these things aren't really adventure. They are simply like cookie cutter events that are pretty much already determined. You just attend and these people basically put you through a show. But so many of us feel our lives are so boring that we need that kind of adventure in our lives and so we are willing to pay anything to get some kind of excitement in our lives. We want more than sitting behind a desk and watching life pass by.

Maybe the excitement that we are looking for isn't in some excursion on a cruise ship but is instead found in a passionate relationship with Christ. Maybe God intended for us to find excitment and adventure in him. Maybe we aren't really alive until we find Christ and live like him. I find it interesting that in my own life, i have found more joy, excitement and adventure in mission's trips, spending time with fellow believers, and preaching truth to students than i have in anything else. And of course, some of the best moments in life have never cost me a dime. A beautiful sunset, a student that gets what life is really about, the day my son was born (although I would argue that one will probably cost me a lot... but it's totally worth it).

God gives us natural moments in life that filled with excitement and adventure. I think it's just that we pass by it and take it for granted. And true adventure.... life changing adventure comes when we pursuit the heart of God. If we lack something in life, it can only be filled with love from the one that made life. So i pray that today, if your life is boring or mundane.... if you feel like you need some sort of adventure in your life or an adreneline rush, spend some time with God, listen to what he has to say, and I guarantee you that you will never be bored.

Recently, my wife's aunt and her family decided that they were ready for an adventure. So spurred on by her husband, they decided they were going to adopt three girls from Haiti. On a recent mission's trip, he had met these three girls and seen that God was calling him to something more. He and his family (which is made up of three girls they already have....bless him for taking on three more) are adopting these three Haitian girls because they see God has something big in store. That my friends, is adventure. That is excitement. That is pursuing the heart of God.

Note to self....cancel bungee jumping appointement. Instead, pencil in time in God's word.

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