Live Like You Mean It: Notes From A Cruise Out Of Tampa

By Derek Maul

It’s interesting how you can live somewhere 17 years, move away, and then see the old place in a way you never have before, all because of a visit of just a few hours.

Tampa has always been a cool city. The Big Guava sparkles with historical multicultural verve. When I wrote for the Tribune, I learned stories and history from many of Tampa’s bona fide characters; but I never saw the city from a giant ship until I experienced it this January – and it stopped me in my tracks.

Because when we shift our perspective, even just the angle at which we view something, everything can look completely different.

One day on the cruise I talked with my dad about a book he’s reading; it’s a biography of Aneurin Bevan, a radical Welsh socialist who served as a member of parliament in the UK.

My dad told me he never had anything good to say about Bevan. But now, having read the man’s story, and getting to know something of the actual person, my dad said he found himself more respectful of Bevan’s point of view.

The same man; the same truth; but no longer the same view.

If only we would spend more time listening to one-another than we do trying to demonstrate how right we are. If only we would be willing to look at the people we’re so opposed to from another angle, another perspective, another setting, another pair of shoes, another point of view.

We don’t have to all agree – that would be boring and counterproductive. But we could choose to learn to respect the fact that there is room for a wide range of opinion, and thought, and understanding, and interpretation – even truth.

There’s only one who actually is The Truth – that’s God; and Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life – grace and truth come through Jesus, John wrote. But we’re not him, are we? It turns out that – at the heart of it all – we’re nothing more, or less, than fellow travelers along The Way.