Should I Even Try the Main Island? Real Living, Part 10

by | May 15, 2013 | Priorities, Real Living, Truth

“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!” (1 Cor 13:12 The Message)

New Providence Island and Paradise Island, both belonging to the Bahamas, are close enough to be connected by two huge bridges. This is where all similarity ends, however. In fact, the two islands couldn’t be more different!

The final destination of most tourists is Paradise Island. And no wonder, with such an attractive name! In the past the island was known as Hog Island, due to the numerous 4-legged inhabitants that bear the name “hog”. When the big enterprises began to move in and develop the island into a tourist area, the hogs found themselves unwanted and unloved.

The Island is currently graced with numerous luxurious hotels and resorts. It is also home to numerous luxurious and expensive homes, most worth several million dollars. The streets are ultra-clean and well maintained, and the native Bahamians are only there to serve the numerous tourists.

The primary resort on Paradise Island is Atlantis. Atlantis offers rooms for a wide range of prices, but the most expensive two rooms are $25,000 a night, with a minimum of 4 nights’ stay. You can already guess where we DIDN’T stay! But amazingly enough, these two rooms are supposedly booked solid for the next two years! Atlantis also offers a casino, a water park with numerous slides through shark and stingray infested waters, and of course, the one attraction we had read so much about: A huge, interconnected aquarium, supposedly the largest indoor aquarium in the world.

Although we couldn’t afford to stay at Atlantis, or anywhere else on the island for that matter, we did spend a day exploring its luxurious facilities. As we made our way through the Island, I couldn’t help but think that this was the only picture of the Bahamas that most tourists ever saw. Would they be left thinking that the Bahamas are one huge amusement park? That they are the home of the rich and famous?

I wasn’t left wondering for long. Many people staying on Paradise Island accompanied us on various boat tours to other islands, and we soon discovered that most of these did, indeed, have a skewed view of what the Bahamas are really like!

But how erroneously wrong they were! If they would have only taken the time to cross the bridge and visit the main island, New Providence, their viewpoint would have been dramatically changed! They would have realized that the Bahamas is much more than a fancy tourist trap. Instead, it is a place of utter beauty filled with wonderful people. They would have found the New Providence beaches intoxicating, its marine life titanic, its history exhilarating, and its local population fascinating. They would have also noticed that though most of the residents are not well off, they don’t spend their days worrying about their poverty. They smile, they spend time with their families, they consider others to be as important as themselves, and they enjoy their simple lives to the fullest!

Similarly, we often have a distorted view of life itself. I used to think that life was all about me, myself and I, and anything that would satisfy my insatiable yearnings. It might have been exciting at times, but more often than not I felt depressed and empty inside. My constant cravings for something better left me more dead than alive. I would have been able to identify with the following text:

“As long as you did what you felt like doing, ignoring God, you didn’t have to bother with right thinking or right living, or right anything for that matter. But do you call that a free life? What did you get out of it? Nothing you’re proud of now. Where did it get you? A dead end.” (Rom 6:20-21 The Message)

I was in a dead end, and worse still, I believed life was nothing more than a dead end with no turning around allowed. I was empty and had no way to find real fulfillment. Then I was introduced to someone who supposedly loved me so much that He willingly died so that not only I could obtain life and life in full. I was sceptical. Part of me didn’t want to believe it. I convinced myself that anything that sounded too good must have some catches. Despite my scepticism however, I decided to try the One called Jesus, and my life was turned around 100% for the better.

He is who He claims He is, friends! He indeed loves you beyond anyone’s imagination. He did fill me up with hope, with purpose, with unfathomable inner-peace. Gone are the empty days. Gone are the lustful desires. Gone are the depressive thoughts. I now feel more alive than ever before! Imagine, a fifty-year old slab feeling more alive than a twenty-year old daredevil!

My whole perspective has changed and now I understand. I have left the island supposedly called “Paradise” and have visited the main island of Truth. I have discovered the One who really is making a difference in my life, and thanks to Him, I have discovered real living!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)

What a contrast to my former life!

“This lover of emptiness, of nothing, is so out of touch with reality, so far gone, that he can’t even look at what he’s doing, can’t even look at the no-god stick of wood in his hand and say, ‘This is crazy.'” (Isa 44:20 The Message)

Should I go on that thrilling shark-infested waterslide, or should I go to the main island?

The choice is yours!

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Real Living” devotional series, please click here.)


Should I Even Try the Main Island? Real Living, Part 10