Christians as Tour Guides?


I'm on my 2nd read of a book that has really got me thinking in a lot of new, deeper ways. One thought that I really have latched onto is one of Christians being tour guides for others. Our place on this earth is one where we point out what is good and true (God) for those we come in contact with - much as a tour guide points out and explains special places that we see on the tour that would have been missed without them.

Sometimes a tour guide shares information about an obvious place of interest like an old house or a cave painting. But other times, something very plain and ordinary and even unlikely might end up having a very deep, amazing history. We need a tour guide to realize that. Paul did this by pointing out truth spoken in places maybe not realized - by the Cretan prophets and Greek poets. He took a place where someone might not have seen truth and pointed it out as they passed by on their 'life tour.'

A tour guide is one who is very familiar with the tour. We wouldn't be well-served by a tour guide who hadn't traveled that way before us.

To me - this has 2 applications. First - I wonder how a Christian is more profitable to the world - pointing out error or pointing out new places to find God? We each bump into all sorts of people during our days - many of whom don't know God. These little 'bumps' could be viewed as folks who pause for a moment for the tour we are guiding. Someone might have stopped to take our tour because they just happened by - or some might actually have an interest in what we think - but may not have realized the places where God is in their lives. Where did music come from? Laughter? They need a tour guide to point out those places of interest for them - places that were always there, but they had not seen them - or recognized their value. On a tour - I might pass by a tree, it being unnoticed by me as anything different from the other trees around it. However, a tour guide could give background on that tree that would cause me to see it in a totally different light.

Another application is even more meaningful to me. God loves diversity. Every group of beings shouts diversity. Flowers, rocks, dogs, eye color. Everything. People, his most precious creation, exudes diversity in every way possible. He made us that way and it is all good. Through our diversity, we have each learned different things about God. One person, who is a gardener or landscaper, and who is open to seeing God in His creation, can amaze us with applications of God's love, provision, and wisdom that he has learned through the plant world. Another person has seen God in her great love and learning about music. Another finds God in math. Still another in electricity. We each cannot know of God in all these areas, because we have a finite knowledge and understanding of the world - seen through our eyes and experiences. However, Christians can (and must) be tour guides for one another - pointing out God as we travel together through life. What faith building that would be if we celebrated one another's differences rather than try to stifle them? If we appreciated the diversity that God obviously loves, rather than trying to cram those around us into a mold that we have created. I have a lot to share about God that I have learned through my life - places I have met Him, ways He has taught me through my passions and interests - and your faith can be broadened and deepened through them. You owe me the same - an opportunity to be encouraged and edified through your seeing God in your passions and life. We can be each other's tour guides.

Just as the tree I mentioned above - which would never look the same to me again after hearing its history - my understanding of God and appreciation of His being behind an area of life that I never thought of before - both need tour guides to share their wealth of knowledge with others.

Maybe our gatherings and times together should have more the feeling of "All Aboard! Next tour leaving in 5 minutes!" rather than the solemn "Call to Worship" that is more common in ritualized gatherings.