Cruise Ships and the Mansion of God

Lee Wachtstetter is a woman who knows how to live it up in style. She spends all her days on a cruise ship not as a crew member but as a paying guest, according to this article at Yahoo News. It’s part a lifestyle choice, part honoring her husband’s wishes:

The day before my husband died … he told me, “Don’t stop cruising.” So here I am today living a stress-free, fairy-tale life.

While they didn’t live full-time on board ship, this couple cruised the world. So when she thought of how to follow her husband’s advice she came up with taking permanent residency. Great food, great scenery, attentive staff, and dance hosts that keep her swaying to the music every night as long as her feet will last.

And all for a mere $164,000 per year.

Living Richly

OK, so not many could afford to live as Ms. Wachstetter does. But there is a desire in each of us to live as best we can. I think it is innate, designed into us.

It’s a desire that Jesus said he came to fulfill.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10.)

A full life sounds wonderful, right? Jesus showed that this fullness is in the love he has for us, and displayed it in some startling ways, like washing the feet of the people who were supposed to be serving him. We’re told he did this because

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1.)

But we want to share full lives with those we love and who love us. It’s good that Jesus leaving this world was not the end. He promised that his leaving was only temporary.

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:2-3.)

The really interesting thing about that last passage is how his friends would have understood it. Jesus was talking about what a Jewish groom would do for his bride after their betrothal. He’d go home and spend up to a year preparing a place for his wife, whether it required an addition built onto his father’s house or something less involved. After he finished, he’d return for the wedding.

Jesus friends – all men in that John 14 conversation – understood what he was saying. He was saying that he was a groom and they were the bride. I’m not sure how that sat with them initially, but when you think of all he’d told them it probably have ended up sounding good. I imagine that John, who was there that night, must have smiled as he recalled the scene when writing this account.

Is a life on board a luxury cruise ship in my future? I doubt it. But life to the full in the place prepared by the one I love who loves me infinitely more, now that sounds even better.

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8 Responses to Cruise Ships and the Mansion of God

  1. Bev Murrill says:

    Rick and I went on a cruise to the Baltics a couple of years ago… we’d never cruised before and it was really good… but we were astonished at the number of people who were on their 40th or 50th cruise… and yeah, people talked about people who lived on board a ship… Gosh! It’s a shame they never discovered the plan of God for their lives… it may be more stressful, but also much more satisfying.

  2. Jeannie says:

    Tim, the sermon at my mom’s funeral was about this same passage from John. The minister emphasized how God’s desire is that we be with Him where He is, and that this was what my mom was now experiencing in its ultimate fullness. Thanks for sharing this today.

  3. Aimee Byrd says:

    It’s so wonderful to know that a full life is yet to come. It really helps us put into perspective what a full life is. Better is one day in His house than a thousand elsewhere.

  4. Laura Droege says:

    I clicked through and read the article about Ms. W. All I could think about was the contrast between her financial situation and those of so many other elderly, struggling to make ends meet, trying to figure out where to live when they can’t live on their own, not having great healthcare, etc. Old age is a burden, not cruising in freedom. To extend your metaphor, these are the people who haven’t discovered what living the Christian life in full means; they’re legalistic and bound up by traditions of men. Sometimes, they’ve done it to themselves; other times, they’re put in bondage by authority figures who exercise too much control over them.

    • Tim says:

      I am glad she gets to live her life in comfort. As Ecclesiastes tells us, if that’s all you have under the sun then go for it. I’m more glad that we have better in Jesus.

  5. Rev. Carlene Appel, MDiv. says:

    Great blog and message Tim. Thanks

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