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
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.