Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Are you a traveler or a tourist?

This question was asked during our son's interview for an opportunity to study in Ireland this summer.  Ryan answered the question this way:  When I meet someone who has been to Alaska, I ask them, "what did you see?"  They usually respond, "I took a cruise."  Then I ask, "Did you ever get off the boat?  Did you visit the places the tourists never check out?  Did you get to know the locals?"

As I listened to my son recount the interview, I thought, are you answering the question with a question?  This is something I do naturally.  It's a way to probe deep and discover why the questioner wants to know something.  In our son's case, he was demonstrating to his interviewers that he knows first-hand what the difference is between a traveler and a tourist.

"I nailed the interview," Ryan told me this morning.  "They will announce their selections at the end of the month.  I'm already working on my passport."

At the end of our lives, Jesus is going to ask an interview question, "are you a traveler or a tourist?"  Here's my answer:

"When I was a kid, I felt like a tourist.  I went to Disneyland.  I visited Kino Bay in Mexico with my cousins.  Then, I grew up and moved out.  During my adventures, often times the boat capsized and I had to get out of the boat and swim.  I know what it feels like to navigate Stage IV rapids.  I'm thankful I'm not a mere tourist.  And I'm even more thankful our children would rather be travelers than tourists."

Jesus has a special place in His heart for the travelers.  And He prepared a place for those who nail the interview question.  This question is part of the test.  We are asked daily, "Do you want to be traveler or a tourist?"  Are you going to nail this interview question?  Every day you get an opportunity to wake up and decide.  Jesus isn't really looking for your words, He's looking for your actions.

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