Tourist Season

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I spent a little better than three hours on ferries this weekend.

On the ferry you can always spot those who sail often from those who are tourists, perhaps sailing for the first time. The frequent floaters have ferry boat routines: they get on board, do their thing, then disembark. Those familiar with the way of the ferry are never surprised to hear that the boat is late, but rather expect it, and you almost never hear them surprised at how much a burger costs. It's not a cruise ship, if you want ketchup with that, it will cost you, but they still complain about it.

Complaining is fun for the ferry faithful. Complaining is almost a sport as you sit around and see who has the best complaint about the ferry.  Oh, and they're constantly going over the good old days when the rows of seats alternated directions so that you could sit down and put your feet up on the seat in front of you. We miss those seating configurations and hearing our sisters complain about our feet being on them. And we miss the old ferry fries. Ferry fries were legendary. Or at least they are for those who knew them.

But for the momentary mariner it's all a brand new experience: everything is fresh, exciting, and surprising. You don't care if the boat is crowded you didn't expect to sit anyways.  A lot of tourists are huddled by the brochure rack* learning about hotel discounts and searching for coupons for surf lessons.  The kids of tourists are on the upper deck testing the hypothesis that if you jump straight up the wind will push you back.

I love watching tourists. At times they're so goofy. I remember watching a tourist try and feed French fries to a sea gull. Locals don't do that. Locals curse the gull because a gull once pooped on them, and they certainly wouldn't feed overpriced food to a scavenger bird.

And I love being a tourist. Little seems to bother me when I'm a tourist. When I'm relaxed, and enjoying the adventure in whatever happens, the annoyances disappear.  It's great acting like a tourist on the ferry.

1 Peter 1:17 jumped out at me Specifically a part in the verse that reads: "live your lives as strangers here."

As Christians this world isn't our home. We're strangers here: tourists even.

I think we need to act more like tourists. We need to be less bothered by what we often classify as annoying. We need to relax and enjoy whatever comes our way. Our faith needs to be less shaken by the events of this world. We need to remember that this world isn't our home. Whatever happens is temporary. We're not going to be here all that long.

We need to stand out and not be afraid to look goofy. We're different, so what. We're not from around here.

Oh, and I recommend taking the ferry. It really is a nice way to travel. And spend some cash on the food, it's all part of the experience.

*as a kid the brochure rack was the free magazine rack. We'd grab stacks of free reading material to entertain ourselves cheaply.