A good friend of mine, Murphy Karges, once gave me a great piece of wisdom. He suggested we can become too familiar with our own hometown and lose interest. He said very plainly, “Be a tourist in your own town.” Murphy’s point is that familiarity breeds a complacency and we begin to lose the excitement of experiencing or seeing something for the first time. Think about it, how many of you have great things to do in the area you live but because of the pace of life you never actually participate in them. Maybe we take for granted what is right in front of us. What can you re-embrace as a first time tourist in your city?

The reality of our humanness is that when we find ourselves in routines, schedules, a frenetic pace and we can no longer feel the freedom to embrace the simple fun that is all around us. We become dull and uninterested in the richness of relationships, experiences, places and sacred moments. We become bored with life.

I remember the first time I had the chance to speak at a Green Bay Packers chapel service. It was December 22, 2003 and I was sitting in a hotel with my wife in Oakland, California running through my message notes with nervousness and a childlike energy. I remember so much about that experience. The room, players. coaches and even what I spoke about. I was a tourist drinking in everything. Why does this perspective fade?

I have thought about Murphy’s words to me that day on an even deeper level and have taken the challenge to become a tourist of my own life. To look at my faith, family, friends and experiences as brand new opportunities that I get to enter into for the first time.

I think about the friends around me and how deep the well of wisdom and love exists for me. I need to acknowledge them and be thankful.

I see a church that is worshipping God with their lives together and its like music to my soul.

I have an amazing and beautiful family that loves God, each other and me. To sit and observe who God is shaping them to be is spectacular.

I am in love with a godly woman who’s beauty runs so deep that I am energized to be in her presence.

I serve a God that places a miraculous world before me, like carnival rides at night, that show his love for me.

I am a tourist in my own life. Are you a tourist in your life?