As my very first blog post ever, I thought I’d explain why I chose to name my blog “The Abiding Tourist”.
It actually has a double meaning. The simpler of the two being that my husband and I travel a lot for his job. We usually live at each location less than a year, sometimes only a few months. It’s a funny thing living in a place long enough that you just start feeling like you belong and are getting the hang of how people do things in this area…and then you move. Abiding means lasting a long time or enduring. So we are long-term tourists; we stay just long enough to not feel like aliens in a strange land but not long enough to ever be considered locals. Thus we are the abiding tourists everywhere we go!
The second reason is more meaningful to me. I could’ve chosen long-term tourists or enduring tourists or any number of adjectives. I chose abiding because it can also be used as abiding in Christ. This is something I want to strive for every day: to have an everlasting relationship with Jesus and stay grounded in Him. Now to the tourist part.
If you have a relationship with Jesus, then this earth (thankfully) is not your home. You are merely a tourist here. You know how when you go on a trip and you post your fun pictures on Instagram, and then when people ask you about your trip, you tell them how great it was? You probably won’t start off talking about how you packed last minute and didn’t even pack exactly what you wanted, or that the shoes you brought ended up giving you terrible blisters. You’re not going to list all the things that went wrong with your trip; you’re going to highlight all the wonderful things like the delicious food, time away from every day responsibilities, lying in the sun all day, and immersing yourself in the culture. I feel like we sometimes forget all the hard times here on earth and don’t really know why we should be yearning for Heaven or for Christ to come back. But you know that amazing feeling you get when you finally come home after being on a fun but maybe stressful vacation? That feeling is like heaven (literally and figuratively).
We’re all guests here
This is just like our life here on earth. You’re a tourist here. No one is a permanent resident of Earth, we’re all leaving it one way or another. Vacations are great and all, but by the end of it you start kind of missing the every day stuff like having your clothes nicely hung in your closet instead of wrinkled in your suitcase. When you walk back through that door with all your baggage, you throw it down and maybe flop on the couch (or is that just me?) and think, “This is my home, the smell, the comfort, the love.”
Earth, like vacation, has some pleasantries for sure but it can also be extremely challenging. There are times when you stop and are just so frustrated with something going on that you just wish you were anywhere else. I think when people think of Heaven, they’re thankful for it but they don’t know if they’re in a super big rush to get there and maybe aren’t yearning for Christ to come back as the Bible calls us to be. We get so caught up on the good times here on earth that we forget how awesome that feeling is when we finally come home after being on vacation. When you’re a tourist, you constantly have that feeling of not belonging and maybe even trying to seem like a local and failing miserably. But when you walk through those doors, you know you belong; this is your place and there is love here welcoming you home. This is Heaven.
“For they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”
I want to endure here on this earth until I see my heavenly Father and He says to me, “Well done good and faithful servant, welcome home.”
Thus I am an abiding tourist. Abiding in my Lord here on Earth until I finally get to go home.
What about you? Do you struggle with knowing you should be excited to go home to your Father but just not feeling it for one reason or another? Take it to Him. Tell Him what’s on your heart because, after all, He already knows anyway.