My Trip to Maui: A Parable...

I dug up this old post from the last time I was in Hawaii - thought you might enjoy...

ORIGINALLY POSTED 06/24/06

I flew to Hawaii last weekend to perform a wedding for an old college friend and his new bride on a beautiful beach in Maui.

They paid for all my expenses, and the wedding itself was a wonderful experience, but the short stay before the wedding was frustrating and even depressing. I was surrounded by the misery of luxury and found it desperately difficult to enjoy myself.

Here's a parable I wrote...



Christianity is like a three-tiered swimming pool at the Ritz-Carlton in Maui.

Christianity is surrounded by eight-story buildings, room service and valet parking.

The people crowd around Christianity’s man-made pools of chlorinated blue water while sipping expensive cocktails.

As everyone tans in cushioned lawn chairs, the almost-unseen ocean laps gently at the sandy shore, less than half a mile away. The ocean water is clean and blue and warm to the touch. It caresses a few lonely swimmers who prefer its living, lapping waves to the severe luxury above.

I ask my companions if they will walk to the shore with me, but they refuse to abandon such posh comfort with convenient views of bikini-clad socialites.

I walk alone to the beach, and the warm wind fills my ears and nostrils. I jump into the swelling tide and dive my head deep beneath an approaching wave. There is sand beneath me, salt dripping in my mouth, and a sharp shell lances my foot...But this is real. This is a living, life-giving ecology.

The Kingdom of God is like a hidden, forgotten beach in the South Pacific Ocean. It is easily forgotten amidst tourist attractions, five-star hotels and infinite amenities. It waits for us to leave the comfort we create and enter a new kind of dangerous comfort – a fresh, vital, living, breathing swim through waters that stretch past the horizon.

4 comments:

james said...

I don't like swimming in rich peoples pee anyways.

Jamie Arpin-Ricci said...

Heh... I lived in Paia for... 5 mins, it seems. Good post.

Peace,
Jamie

Anonymous said...

Pretty narrow minded if I don't say so myself. Sure you are the last Gnostic?

2Pete said...

I'm a little confused about which part is particularly narrow minded? My bashing on wealthy? If so, forgive me. My wife and I have been truly blessed by some very gracious, loving, wealthy Christians.

If I did not emphasize how particularly cold this kind of wealth was, then I owe an apology.

Anonymous,
If you happen to visit the site again, I'd love any elaboration you can offer. I hope I'm not really a Gnostic, but I guess we're all heretics in different ways.

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