Planet Earth from a Tourist’s Perspective

My office door is on a side street next to the church. Everyday I get a glimpse of how a local bed and breakfast is doing. They’ve had the busiest summer I’ve seen during my five years in the community.

Today I was heading out for a meeting and I saw a couple of ladies heading out for the day. In typical tourist fashion, they were taking pictures of the B&B house, one another, and the surrounding area. Our little community had piqued their interest.

Sometimes we forget to enjoy the place we are at. It happens in the cities we grow up in, the workplaces we’ve given our lives to, and even the planet we live on. From a spiritual perspective, how would the world look different if we stopped and saw it as tourists?

Do you remember the last time you went someplace new? Some of us never leave the few locations we see every day. Home, work, school, church, our favorite restaurant, the grocery store, Walmart. How many times do we see the same places and experience them the same way?

If you had to describe your world to someone who had never seen it, what would you say it is like? All they will have to go on is your perspective of the world and life.

Imagine they have no concept of what a skyscraper or a cubicle are. To say your church has theater seats means nothing to them. “What’s a car? What’s a lake? How do you stay alive on a six-lane freeway?”

We need a fresh perspective, to start seeing the world around us with fresh eyes. Toss out every familiar feeling and take nothing for granted. Stop to see and feel the world as if we just dropped out of the sky onto this planet. No preconceptions. No prejudices. Just the world as it is.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]We need to look at the world around us with fresh eyes, no preconceptions or prejudices.[/tweetthis]

If you could look at your world from a tourist’s perspective, seeing it for the very first time, you’d feel these four emotions:

1) Amazement

Our universe is a miracle that should amaze us. God made it just for us, so we could exist and live to know Him and make Him known. Every star was carefully placed. The solar system arranged to be unique, yet stable. The variety of plants and animals reveal His creativity. And the fact that He shares it with us should amaze us.

2) Heartbroken

Jesus promised, “with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), yet so many of us are hurt, isolated, and lost. These aren’t soldiers wounded on the battlefield or far away tribes in unexplored lands, but the people that fill our cities, workplaces and homes. Every day they are “the walking dead”, living without hope, destined to an eternity they could escape. Some live in ignorance while others choose this path. And it feels like all we can do is watch.

3) Challenged

Seeing the awesomeness of Creation and the backwardness of earthly existence, we should be challenged to do something about it. Whenever people leave home and get a glimpse of what life outside of their comfort looks like, it changes them forever.

But we shouldn’t have to go to the other side of the world for this challenge to grip our hearts. We should want to clothe the naked, want to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. At the same time we should want to reach the lost, want to share the Gospel, want to be Jesus to those in desperate need of His touch.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]We shouldn’t have to travel the world to have our hearts opened to people’s needs.[/tweetthis]

4) Homesick

To go away and see a lost and broken society should make us glad for the blessings we have at home. Looking on this world with unfiltered spiritual eyes should make us long for the homeland we haven’t walked in yet, though it is prepared in advance for us. We long for days where tears are wiped away, darkness can’t be found, and the light of glory shines upon all.

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Will you take a fresh look at your world today? Instead of taking selfies or posting on Instagram, let your eyes be amazed, heartbroken and challenged today. Allow yourself to be homesick and not overly entangled in what surrounds you now. A healthy perspective of this world will start a yearning for the one Christ will usher in.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. (Hebrews 11:13, NIV)

[tweetthis]A healthy perspective of this world will start a yearning for the one Christ will usher in.[/tweetthis]