Not a Tourist

On a chilly January day, I visited Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, one of the Golden Isles off the coast of Georgia. I’d been there years before, but I decided to make another visit. I parked my car along the road and read license plates of vehicles mostly from points north, likely snowbirds looking to get out of the frozen tundra. A beaten sandy path emerged onto the shore where giant trees and roots had turned to driftwood—stark and somewhat eerie wood pieces made this way by the wearing of countless tides. Even on a grey day, a steady stream of visitors came and went.

The flow of sightseers resonated with me and connected with a point I sensed the Lord had been bringing to mind. A tourist by definition is one who tours for pleasure— they only stay for a moment or a season as it suits them. You won’t see a moving van at the Eiffel Tower or Mount Rushmore or the Statue of Liberty.

In the spiritual sense, true followers of Jesus don’t buy a ticket, take a look around, and then leave when their feet start hurting.

One of my all time favorite verses is Matthew 6:33, here in the Amplified, “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God} and all these things will be given to you also.” Our seeking His kingdom is at first a onetime surrender of all we are and then a daily surrender. We strive for it above everything else in our lives and leave the rest to Him.

The antonym of tourist is inhabitant—we inhabit the kingdom of God and God inhabits us—an exchange of our life for His. We don’t change our itinerary because a storm is rolling in. We take up residence in Him who is our “refuge and strength.”

We’re not looking to only get a passport stamp that reads “Saved” but we’re looking to live out the daily walk with Jesus.

In the spiritual sense, let’s aim to not be tourists.

However, I will admit being a tourist at Driftwood Beach is nice, especially in January.

As Valentines Day approaches, an author colleague is hosting fourteen other authors (including me) in a giveaway. My day is tomorrow, February 7 and I'll be giving away a signed copy of A Plan for Everything and a Valentines Day mug. The details are on her site. Click on the image below to I hope you win!!



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