By Becky Hill Martin
I grew up on the Florida coast in Pensacola. It used to be a small undiscovered beach/Navy town on the way to Destin. We got our fair share of tourists who clogged up the bridge to the beach and the restaurants and stores, which was great for business. But the town’s infrastructure couldn’t support the traffic. You better believe I complained about tourists. I didn’t understand how small businesses depended on them. I thought I would live there forever. Now I’m the tourist.
It’s a weird feeling when you’re a visitor in your hometown. You’re from the place, but not “of” it anymore. No matter where you grow up, you spend a lot of time trying to find your place and fit in. When you’re visitor, you’re in “vacation mode,” which could mean you’re either a consumer or a contributor. It’s kind of like1 Peter 2:11 where Peter reminds us that we are “temporary residents and foreigners” in this life. And that we are to “keep away from worldly desires that wage war against our very souls.”
This is a call for us to live like we’re tourists – not the stereotypical obnoxious kind, but the ones who live to influence others by the way they mirror Christ. Where we’re from shouldn’t be our end destination. We’re on a journey. We’re here to live, learn, experience, and grow so we can personally know Christ and make Him known to others. We’re not made for this world. We’re made for eternity.