A Cruise Ship Lifestyle
Let’s look at the book of Isaiah for a succinct description.
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! Their banquets are accompanied by lyre and harp, by tambourine and flute, and by wine; But they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands.” (Isaiah 5:11-12)
The pursuit of strong drink? Check. Staying up late? Check. Lots of food and music? Yep, those too. Neglect of God? Prevalent. If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you’ll recognize how Isaiah’ describes well what a cruise vacation looks like for most people.
Unfortunately, a cruise ship lifestyle seems to be becoming more commonplace as an overall lifestyle approach. How might this look off a cruise ship? Since it would look different for every person, let me describe what it might look like in my own life if I did nothing to prevent it.
“Distress and affliction to she who gets up in the morning to pursue strong coffee because she stayed up too late the night before watching television. Her eating habits consist of potato chips and ice cream, and she does nothing but sit around and read novels all day long. She fails to pay attention to what the Holy Spirit wants her to do, and she completely ignores His direction on a regular basis. No exercise. No writing. No housework.”
Once I got rolling on how this lifestyle might look for me, I had to force myself to stop. It was actually eye-opening for what could so easily happen should I fail to constantly renew my mind in a way that leads to a counter-cultural life directed by God’s Word.
While going on a cruise does not cause a permanent downward spiral away from a productive life, doing nothing to avoid this type of lifestyle will eventually lead one.
Preventing an Unproductive Life
Vacation Brain discusses the remedy of an unproductive life as being a renewing of the mind, and Understanding the Symptoms of Vacation Brain helps create awareness of the power of these symptoms to disrupt life. While renewing the mind certainly needs to be a refocusing tool, another approach involves preventing the symptoms in the first place. Refocusing and preventing can help one live a productive life on a consistent, long-term basis.
Prior to going on our first cruise, my husband and I set several goals that, if achieved, would equal a successful vacation in our minds. Likewise, having life goals also helps prevent the cruise ship lifestyle from impacting our whole lives. At the same time, working consistently toward goals helps get the most out of every aspect of our lives.
Setting goals and constantly creating an awareness helps maintain focus. Goals provide a status check that helps prevent being sucked into culture and away from God
“I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:14-17)
Cruises Are Not Evil
Please know that I do not consider cruises to be evil. I’ve been on many of them. In fact, I believe cruises can provide a great way to disconnect as a way to reconnect. They provide a way to dedicate time to completely relax and put life on hold for a while.
However, existing in an atmosphere where the desires of the flesh are catered to can be a dangerous place. This lifestyle can be so appealing that adapting at least parts of it into real life becomes increasingly easy the more one refuses to resist that culture.
One can adapt a cruise ship lifestyle without ever stepping foot on a boat. Our culture, on land or at sea, caters to the desires of the flesh. If we do nothing to prevent it, those desires become our focus and will eventually derail us spiritually, mentally and physically.