Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cruising the Mexican Caribbean: Want to Live On a Cruise Ship?


reconnecting with a granddaughter
How would you like to live full time on a cruise ship? Your room would be cleaned every day, your covers turned down before bedtime, chocolates on the pillow, all your meals fixed for you, and entertainment galore. All you would have to do is eat and sleep. Apparently there was a woman on our ship who does just that. She has a permanent room and a table of her own in the dining room, with royal treatment from the staff as their only perpetual guest. 
and a grandson
 
She was the topic of discussion one night at dinner as we began our journey home. Some envied her carefree lifestyle, but to me, it sounds like one of those romance comedies. You know, the ones where the hero or heroine has to relive a day of their life over and over until they get it right. They wear the same clothes, do the same things, and have the same conversations over and over. 

As much fun as it is to travel to new places, eat delicious food any time of day or night, and let someone else do all the cleaning - it gets old after a while. The mealtime conversations follow the same script: What do you do? Where are you from? How many cruises have you been on? Where have you cruised? What cruise lines have you been on? How many kids and/or grandkids? When you’re always meeting new people, it’s hard to get past surface conversations. Except for when we went to Bible study.

The morning we attended the no-host Bible study, I truly felt at home. We didn’t talk about cruises or jobs or children. We read the Bible, shared stories of hardship and blessings, and reveled in wonder at our Savior. God had brought the eight of us in that room through death, divorce, financial ruin, cancer, loneliness, doubt, fear, and provided words to open a safe passage through a riot scene. After Bible study, we visited and played ping pong with several of our new friends. Our time together was real, and meaningful.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love cruising. My husband and I will continue to go on them as long as we are able. We had fun and came home refreshed. But a life that consists of endless pleasure and surface conversation is meaningless. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, explored this concept in the book of Ecclesiastes. He declared that pleasure and wealth, even work, creative projects, and intellectual pursuits are meaningless, unless we live our lives in relationship with God.

I found this out at the tender age of thirteen. There was restlessness and despair in my soul that nothing could satisfy. But when I gave my heart to Jesus and asked Him to guide my life, suddenly every day had purpose. Jesus said He came to give us a full, or abundant, life (John 10:10). That’s why being a Christian so worthwhile. We work, laugh, grieve, make friends, go to shows, struggle, enjoy good food, learn, fail, dance, teach, create, and love – it all has meaning as we live for Christ. 
One man we had met at Bible study was in front of me as we de-boarded. I overheard his conversation with a staff member as we walked off the boat:

“Thank you for cruising with us,” she said. “We hope you enjoyed your stay.”

“I did. But I’m glad to be home,” he said.


She seemed surprised. “You don’t wish you could stay on longer?”

“No,” he smiled. “As much fun as it was, I have a life.”

beach walk with Dad and daughter
hiking with daughter
Well said, I thought. Our lives are not meant to be spent in pursuit of endless pleasure, but in relationships, in serving, and delighting in the One who made us. If you have not yet made the choice to follow Jesus Christ, I hope you will soon. He is the One who will give your life meaning.

4 comments:

  1. I loved this post. My life hasn't been a cruising experience for a while (although compared to some maybe it really is), but I wouldn't exchange it for the constant cruise.
    Joanne

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  2. For all the beauty and pleasure ...we would not appreciate it without the rough spots that life has to offer us! Hopefully we learn and grow and evolve into being more like Christ. But a life without difficulties is like living in a bubble...never meant to sustain us. True strength comes in overcoming.

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  3. So true! Thank you for your comments, Trish.

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