Friday, July 20, 2018

Around The World in Twenty Minutes!

I had a great day out fishing this week with local lobster fisherman Roddy. He is a hero of mine as he has worked the coastal waters around Guernsey for most of his life and seems to know his way about, even in fog. His boat is a simple local boat with a tiny cabin at the front and a winch to raise the heavy pots. I used to go out with him occasionally but haven't been able to do so for a few years due to my ill health, but now, following the change in my life since surgery, I was thrilled to be able to go again. We were out for between 6 and 8 hours and on the way there and back we passed 3 amazing cruise liners moored just outside St Peter Port. Among them was The World - the biggest privately owned ship in the world!

Since its launch in 2002 The World, the largest private residential ship on the planet at 644 feet, has continuously circumnavigated the globe, spending extensive time in the most exotic places, allowing residents to wake up in a new destination every few days. With only 165 individual apartment style homes, The World’s residents enjoy one of the most exclusive lifestyles imaginable. Not only do they own their individual residences, but collectively, they own the ship and employ its crew. They are on a permanent holiday!

Now I'm not going to pass comment on whether that is a lifestyle I would like to take part in, though I could never afford it of course, but I do feel that it is, strangely, a kind of comment on our Western society in general. The desire to be on a continuous vacation must surely be a fantasy as life is just not like that for most of us. There are family responsibilities, community involvements, causes that need our attention, even they might only be the garden that needs to be tended or the cat to be fed. Sailing off into the sunset for good may appear very attractive at times (especially for a pastor on a Monday after a tough Sunday before!). The ancient Jewish King David did pray 'Oh for the wings of a dove that I might fly away' BUT surely that can't be the way to purpose and fulfilment. Our humanity, made in the image of God, can only find real satisfaction in service, family and community as we lay down our lives for others in his name.

And another Bible passage sticks in my mind too - with some alteration here - but this is what it says in 1 John 2:15 -17, "Do not love [The World] or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does— comes not from the Father but from the world. [The World] and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever".

Mind you - a short trip on a good cruise liner - ah maybe that would be something else eh?