The Accidental Tourist: A Parable
By: Susan Deborah Schiller
"You've been living as a tourist in the Kingdom of God," said the voice I've learned to trust as my Father God's. It was a dream, but full of truth, what I call a "dream parable".
Like an ordinary child, I argued back, "Oh no, that's not true!" I picked up my Bible and turned to Matthew 6 as my "proof text" that I was living by faith, but as the familiar pages slipped through my fingers I suddenly discovered a section of the book of Matthew was missing! Not only were pages in Matthew missing, but a good part of my tattered and well-used Bible was just plain gone.
Realization suddenly struck me like a lightning bolt from Heaven, that the only pages remaining in my Bible were the parts that I was actually living! All the rest was simply head knowledge and nothing more.
I was a preacher and teacher of God's Word. I had memorized whole chapters and almost a whole book of the Bible. But what I lacked was application and experiential knowledge. God was setting me up to pursue my full inheritance as a daughter of the Most High God!
Papa wanted me to experience an abundant life. A life of no fear, no lack, and no limitations! That's our inheritance, but it can only be received when we live like Jesus lived when he was on earth as an ordinary human, like us.
My years as a good church-going woman of God flashed across my mind's movie screen. Not only had I been tithing 10% as a member and giving offerings well above my tithe, but I gave my time, up to 70-80 hours a week! I had been a youth pastor, a children's pastor, a regional coordinator for a large international ministry and so much more. I was guiding people's lives and yet, were any of us really living the "abundant life" God promised us?
Had I somehow gotten lost inside the Church? How could it possibly be true? Was I actually only a tourist and not a passport-toting citizen of Heaven? After all, everyone was applauding me because of our astonishing rate of church growth! I was the "golden girl," they told me, because nearly all of my programs were successful.
But I always sensed there must be something more! I knew there must be more than simply successful, well attended programs, that people enjoyed.
"You belong to Me. You're in the Family. But you are living like an orphan, as if you didn't own the key to My House! You are a citizen of Heaven but you have forgotten your identity. You are living like a tourist in the Kingdom of Heaven. You admire My Kingdom. You read My Word and think it's great! You're great at praying for others. But you haven't yet received your full inheritance."
Have you ever had a divine wake up call? This was my wake up call! The dream is many years old, but it still acts like a compass needle for my life today.
So this morning I awakened from another airport dream. Throughout the years I've had several such dreams where I'm in various stages of preparation for a very important flight! A decade ago I was married to an abuser and in my airport dreams we were always in disarray, completely unprepared and unable to make it to the airport, let alone on the very important mission!
Throughout the years of escaping from abuse these periodic airport dreams have helped me to assess my progress in being fully prepared for Kingdom living. And you need a passport for this Kingdom; that is, you need citizenship, just to get started! This is your identity as a citizen of the greatest kingdom in the universe.
For me, I had to unlearn everything the church taught me! You see, knowledge on top of knowledge makes you feel comfortable. The teaching is predictable, familiar, and acceptable.
There's no more mystery when you spend years being indoctrinated and then indoctrinating others. We grow accustomed to the artificial indoor lighting, instead of getting out under the healing Sunlight!
The Apostle Paul freely admitted he saw things "darkly" and only in part. He talked about the Mystery. I don't think he ever intended that his letters be taken as a forever, eternal law, to be misconstrued by changing social and cultural structures. I believe we need less of Paul and more of Jesus, and I know Paul would agree with me!
Most Christians, like me, need a divine wake up call. We've fallen asleep and our luggage isn't packed. Our passport is missing. And the great adventure is here!
A couple years ago I finally had it all together… I made my mission. My luggage, my timing, and my passport were all in order! Finally!
But today, I'm no longer traveling alone. My children are with me. For those who know my story, you understand that sociopaths can steal your children's souls, too. They try, that is. But God has our children, you know… he really does!
Today, I understand that it's not enough for me to be free…
I have so many more I want to journey with! And so I will keep going back and helping my children, both natural and spiritual, to get their passports… to pack their luggage… and to fly!
I want to share more about this… because it's the real key to getting free. Are you ready to fly?
With all my love,
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