I few years ago I had lunch with some relatives on the Queen Mary–berthed in Long Beach. Afterwards I walked around the deck, which had photographs of the rich and famous from a bygone era. Long gone. Dead and buried.
Life is like that. A journey. A lifelong journey on an ocean liner.
It has three ports of call. Passengers embark at one port of call: birth.
They disembark at another port of call: death. And death itself represents two different seaports: heaven and hell.
There’s a constant turnover in the ship’s manifest as younger passengers embark while older passengers disembark.
We begin with one set of passengers—parents, grandparents, siblings, aunt and uncles. We end with a different set of passengers. We lose the older passengers while we befriend the newer passengers. We ourselves grow old while we’re aboard. Some passengers kill other passengers. Some passengers jump ship and drown.
Sometimes the weather is warm and sunny, with a clear, scenic view. At other times the weather is wet, choppy, and gray.
Some passengers enjoy first class cabins. Others, second class or tourist class.
You can’t tell where passengers will disembark from where they embark. But sooner or later, we all disembark. It’s a question of who is waiting to greet us at our final port of call. Who will be the welcoming committee?
That remains to be seen, but we live in confidence that God “will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).
All our names are recorded on the ship’s manifest. But is your name recorded in the Book of Life?