Starting to Think Like a Floridian Instead of a Tourist

Well, it’s starting to happen.  Yesterday we went to the beach to watch the sunset, the photo with this post is one I snapped with my phone.  It was a beautiful sunny day but it was cool and the wind was brisk.  I had my jacket hood pulled tight around my head and was glad I had several layers of clothing on.

You who live in the north are surely laughing at the thought of me being chilly while you are freezing!  I’m sorry for that, I wish you could all be here with me. We could have a wonderful beach party at 60 degrees and you would be happy about those temperatures!

While Randy and I stood watching the higher than normal surf and the shore birds trying desperately to outrun the waves, we also observed a few….tourists.  They were dressed in shorts and tee shirts. Barefoot, they were running in and out of the surf taking pictures with their phones and trying to smile while I am sure they were shivering.  But, they were here on vacation and no matter the weather, they were going to swim and enjoy it.

And as we watched them, I realized that I had moved away from the tourist perspective. I was enjoying the sunset, but being in the water could wait for another day since I knew there would be one.  I knew that, barring an unforeseen circumstance, I would be here another day and could look forward to enjoying sinking my toes into the sand and feeling the gentle waves coaxing me into the sea.

That made me think about how I view this life.  We are really here, on planet earth, for such a short time. And while we might not view it as a vacation, we certainly have a limited amount of time to enjoy the creation God has given us. I made the decision to try to be more aware of my surroundings. More thankful for what God allows me to experience.  One thing I was thankful for this weekend was seeing some  wild parrots. I never knew, in all the years that I’ve visited Florida, that there were these incredibly beautiful, bright green birds living in our area.  Did I mention that green is my favorite color? How wonderful of the Lord to bless me with the opportunity to see green birds!  It may not be a big deal but it made me smile and I thanked Him for it.

And as I am getting used to the idea that this is my home,  and as I learn to appreciate what this new life has in store for me, I can pause to consider how the Lord sees it all. He has allowed us to live here for a while, but in a way we are just tourists.  In a way, while this is the only home we have ever known, there is something more to come. One day a place that we might now see only with the perspective of a tourist, a place we can’t wait to visit, will become home.  That is how I can see Heaven right now. One day I will arrive there as a new visitor but I’ll be there to stay. It will  become home, and it will be more than we could ever imagine.

John 14:1-4  “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”


If you are interested in seeing the wild parrots  check out this YouTube video  Wild Parrots in Florida