I would like to begin, by saying I am NOT endorsing any service of any kind, in what I am about to say! I remember walking to the table of representatives for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and being nicely greeted. I was asked for my tickets and boarding pass and then to state which bags belonged to me and those with me. As quickly as that was done, we were whisked to a separate elevator, to the upper most level of our ship and a grand lady she was. Drinks were quickly placed in our hands and the pictures began to snap from every direction, you would have thought we were celebrities.
Everything was Mr. or Mrs., this or that and doors were opened quickly and smiles were present everywhere. The stateroom was filled with balloons and confetti for my daughters birthday and there was a basket of fruit and champagne and the concierge was standing quietly and smiling as we entered. From that point on my wife and I were seated in the best spots, quickly served and gently handled at every turn.
It never mattered oncewhere we were on ship, we were treated like royalty. The meals were scrumptous and the attention was almost to the point of being obnoxious and aggravating, but it did give us a glimpse of the other side─wealth. For the first time in our lives we were living high on the hog! Although I enjoyed this attention to a certain degree, I knew it for what is was, attention because of money! How utterly devoid of authenticity and true charm!
Throughout, the entire cruise everything was made perfect or close to that, until the cruise was coming to a close and then we saw the true nature of all those people. Each came at separate times to the stateroom looking for their bonus and each was not disappointed and yet they too, joined with the others and disappeared in the end. I was not surprised in any way, I knew what the standard was and what would be expected by them, of me. This time around there was no fruit in the morning, no champagne for breakfast, actually no “real” breakfast at all, cereal was the best they offered.
Then our bags were gathered like all the others and moved to the terminal, like all the others and we were left to find them on our own, just like all the others. It was remarkable to me in a way. I had saved for quite awhile for this excursion, complete with a very nice stateroom and all the attention. I wanted my family to enjoy being treated nicely, if it was only once in all our lives.
Special was what I got, because special is what I paid for, it’s as simple as that! In the end, there was no special table for us to disembark from, no smiles, no extra attention paid us, but we had a very nice time and for seven days. My family really had fun! So was it worth it?! In a way, it was. Would I do it again…not on your life! Once was more than enough, for this old Indian!
When Adam and Eve had sinned in the Garden of Eden and God had sent them out, things changed. Being special would now be something you would have to pay for. The sin of greed left its mark, letting me know that original sin was doing well everywhere one would look. Self-importance, the “me first” attitude, the “hooray for me and to hell with everyone else” rampant regardless of your level of lifestyle. It appears that money does nothing more than to help and hide this attribute in other people, “You want it, you gotta pay for it.” I am an American Indian and I look the part as well, I am a simple man with simple desires. I look stupid in a suit and tie and even worse in a tuxedo, it just doesn’t fit with the way I look!
What is worse, people trying to hide these things and in the end are just hypocrites, sad but so very true, my friends. The Bible says, “blessed are the meek” and this is true as well, there are no pretentious attitudes, anywhere. Those sort of things, are as empty as a huge hole in the ground, they are deep, dark, and lifeless. I would rather have people be my Friend, than to pretend anything. I can handle it, if someone doesn’t like me and if they do like me, we are friends for sure!
A simple and honest life is lived strictly by the big black line sort of thinking and living, everyone knows where you stand on─whatever. How different the cruise would have been had everyone been sincere in how we all interacted with each other. How happy the crew would have been…continually…and in turn the passengers! All I can say is, “Thank you Satan, for messing up a really good thing! You self-serving schmuck!!”
Of course, the Bible tells us we should be looking to HIM without fail, neither to the left or to the right. It also tells us…to give…to one another! There is the key…as to why this world is in such trouble, “Give” and “Don’t just take.’ How different this world would be, if everyone read the Word of God and adhered to it…truthfully! It does nothing more than to “prove” just how desperate this world truly is when compared to what heaven will be! And then to think, it’s all because of sin! Can you imagine a world without wars, without famine or disease or hunger?!
Can you imagine a world where the point of every person, every day, would be to genuinely help others! Where “self” is never considered, where “mine” does not exist, where hunger is fed and pain is forgotten, where love is the only desire? I can only see it through a mangled lens and then it lasts for less than a second and then it’s gone. For me, this is imagination that fails in comparison to the heaven the Lord has in store for us, that heaven could never be imagined. We don’t have that ability, only God does.
So here we are, trying to contemplate this sort of world and then we look around ourselves, at the world we now live in and the difference is far more than just disappointing, it’s almost worth suicide! Yes, I understand, that is a very sobering thought….but it is true! It’s the true follower of Jesus that gets to see that single glimpse, that KNOWS what is to come one day. These are the words we should be sharing with people who have NO hope of any kind.
Their desperation is for whatever they can acquire in these so very short three score and ten years (70 years)! For them, after that, it is the end and they feel that desperation, that want, the lack of hope, the fear of their failure and the finality of death. They have no idea that there is a better place, a place dreams are fulfilled, where they really mean something to others and not for reasons founded continually in hypocrisy. People don’t like it when we talk about eternity, we KNOW where we will be found through out eternity, yet, they have no such knowledge for themselves. How sad to think, that one only has seventy years and then everything just ends, where there is no forever, no peace, no harmony!
This is where the follower of Jesus Christ comes into play. We KNOW of heaven and what eternity is and we KNOW where to find them. We need to be working steadily, every day to alert every single person that comes our way; this is our normal request by our Lord and Savior! WE are to bring the message of truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who opens their heart to receive it. There is no need to browbeat anyone, or “shove it down their throat.”
It needs to be a point in time where they see their life and how it is today and what is can be tomorrow with Jesus Christ! It says in Matthew 11:20-30:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This is one of the greatest verses there is in the Bible, the verse to share with someone else to see the chance at eternity with Jesus Christ. Finally to have the love from someone else that is true and honest, where this love is a true gift, no strings, no deception! It never ceases to amaze me though, how many people will hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ…and turn their back on HIS gift to them.
“Well…there must be some sort of gimmick to it, ya just can’t trust anyone now days”! Or what may be even worse “Look…I just don’t have any time for this!” I have a real hard time understanding…anyone…that would give up this offer, for something like money! It is evident that they do not understand the difference between seventy years and eternity and even worse, for money!
It is sad to think─as the Bible says, for the road to destruction is wide and many will walk it and there is nothing we can do about it! Yet these same individuals will scoff at our faith and trust in the Lord God Almighty!
Looking at these two scenarios of people, can you imagine the surprise in them, when the Rapture takes place? The problem is, they will be willing to “believe a lie” before they would believe the truth of the Bible! With the Rapture being so close now, our job has become so much more critical! We need to be working as industriasly as a colony of ants, as dedicated as a bee-hive and with the grace and love of our Lord and Savior!!