As many of you know, after Patsy recently had cataract surgery on both her eyes, we took two weeks off for a get-away/recovery vacation. First of all, a word of thanks to everyone who filled in for me while gone. Patsy’s eyes are doing great, and we had a good vacation.
One of the places we spent time was Lexington, Kentucky where, like most of Kentucky, people are quite fond of horses. In fact, you see horses everywhere, grazing in the country side, decorating the streets in statues, billboards and other works of art. They even have a Thoroughbred Park near the middle of town, commemorating the stars of horse-racing. We’re not really into horses, or horse-racing, but we had to visit the park, look around, read the plaques, and take pictures. We were tourists, and that’s what tourist’s do, all of which made me think about the qualities of being a good tourist.
When you’re a tourist you tend to look at life differently. Of course, there are plenty of bad tourists around, people who act like jerks, and expect the world to cater to their every whim. But I think there are some qualities shared by good tourists, and here are a few of them.
When you’re a good tourist everything is viewed with wonder and curiosity. You want to meet new people. You want to taste new kinds of food. You don’t travel to Kentucky to have a Big Mac, but you do want to catch some of their barbeque.
At home you can get sucked into routines, but for a good tourist every day is a potential adventure, and every day is welcomed with joy and expectation.
When you’re a homeowner you can do whatever you want with your house: paint it pink and purple if you desire. But when you’re a tourist, you know that the locations you visit, and the places you stay, don’t really belong to you and you need to treat them with respect. You don’t trash your hotel room because it isn’t really yours, and others will be living there after you leave.
I know some people would rather sit at home and watch TV, but sometimes you have to welcome life as a tourist, and that’s what Christians really are anyhow. As 1 Peter reminds us:
Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. (1 Peter 2:11 MSG)
The world is not our home and it doesn’t belong to us. It’s not our prison either. It’s a beautiful gift that we need to respect and care for, because we’re only passing through like tourists. Like tourists, we’re here to meet new people, come to know them and appreciate them. Like tourists we need to cherish our world and treat it with respect. Like tourists we need to greet each day as a potential adventure to be welcomed with joy and expectation.
I’m back in Terre Haute now, but I’m not really home. Neither are you. We’re traveling together as tourists. Let’s be good ones.
Yours in Christ;