Passport

I try not to get jealous over anything, especially the small stuff. I try not to envy or become angry over another person’s good fortune or success. I try to keep in my own lane, looking straight ahead at where I am going rather than at the people around me, but sometimes I end up looking. Sometimes I end up wishing that I had an opportunity to live their life for a while.

I used my passport 4 times in July.                                                  

If you took a look at it you would never know. Not one stamp. It looks just as pristine as it did the day I got it. I have had four passports in my life. The first was for a school trip to England and the second was for a missions trip to Jamaica, both were pre – 9/11. Once the post 9/11 security enhancements were introduced, a passport to cross the world’s largest unprotected border (Canada – USA) became necessary so I have had to get a passport two other times.

When our excited school band went through customs at Heathrow Airport in the UK, we got a stamp on our passports. When my wife and I went through customs at the airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, we got a stamp on our passports. When we go through customs at the border into the USA – nothing. I feel ripped off.

My son has stamps on his passport, why not me?

My son has been a part of missions trips to Africa on three separate occasions, twice before he was married and once after. His passport has all sorts of stamps in it. Rarely is there a direct flight to anywhere in Africa so not only does he have a stamp from his final destination countries, South Africa, Uganda and Swaziland, but also from the layover countries, France and the United Arab Emirates. He even got a stamp when he re-entered the USA.

On his latest trip, my wife and I drove my son and his wife to the Metro Detroit airport because flights out of Canada are far too expensive. We entered the USA to drop them off and we entered the USA to pick them up. We re-entered Canada after we dropped them off and we re-entered Canada after we picked them up. No stamp! They on the other hand had stamps from South Africa, Swaziland and the USA. I drove over 5 hours each way and didn’t get one stamp, they let someone else drive and fly them and they got stamps! So unfair!

Maybe I need counselling to get over this stamp issue.

No, I was not stamp or sticker deprived as a child, at least as far as I can tell. No, I didn’t grow up in the, everyone gets a participation ribbon, stamp or sticker just for showing up era either; we actually had to earn ours. No, I wasn’t the best student in the world or in the country or in the province or in the town or in the school or… maybe I do need some counselling. I guess there has been some indications of this problem when you consider my deep-rooted envy of other people who got stamps in their passports. I want a stamp in mine, after all I did show up at the border!

A stamp in your passport says that you have been allowed to go somewhere that is not ordinary.

Sorry to my American friends and family, me coming to your country is just not extraordinary enough to give out a stamp. Don’t get too upset, you coming to my country is not extraordinary enough to get a stamp either. As a matter of fact I have heard Canada being called the USA without handguns and with health care – if you are going to get shot be a Canadian in Canada, the health care is free but first you will need to find a gun. If I hurt anyone’s feelings with what I just said (it was meant to be a joke) I will respond in true Canadian form, sorry eh!

God wants to take you somewhere that is not ordinary, are you ready to travel?

Salvation is not an ordinary trip but an invitation to go to a whole new place. The problem is, it can end up like a trip from the USA to Canada where the flag flying at the post office is the biggest difference. We have gone someplace new but salvation becomes the beginning and the end of the trip while the journey of surrender that should follow, the one with all the passport stamps, is put off.

The life of a Christ follower should be full of destinations that look nothing like the places we’ve travelled before but the security of salvation is often is the furthest we are willing to go. There is so much more to experience through total surrender to God, so many more stamps to be collected from places we could never imagine going.

The only thing that holds us back from discovering the places God has for us is our desire to be in control, kind of like me and travel. As much as I like all those stamps in my passport, I have to admit I feel more in control, much safer and much more comfortable in Canada and the USA,

Can I still get a stamp please?

23 comments

  1. At work reading this and I was wondering if I should keep on reading or is this more for American and Canadian peeps lol. Glad I read until the end!! Good stuff Dave. I say I am ready to go anywhere to God but I am not sure deep down, but I want to. Yes I am ready…to not be in control. Ouch

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love “where you went” with that. I presently have not renewed my passport. My second and third were with the engineering company that where I worked for my last 20 years. The first one of the two passports had no unstamped pages. The second was filled with India and China visas for trips that were cancelled. My hardest border to cross was US to Toronto. I had work in Sault Ste. Marie and they directed me to an interview room. When I showed a separate ticket for the return flight, I was allowed through. Nearly missed my connecting flight.

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    1. we got stopped and sent to secondary for the first time when i was driving my son and his wife back in July – there was some question about the wood in the hand drum he brought back – all was fine but it sure makes you nervous when they pull you aside even if you have done nothing wrong

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Each country is different – it’s all based on length of stay, reason for stay (work or visit) and immigration/travel treaties – that’s why I don’t get to stamp when I enter the US – also found out that countries using a scanning system don’t need to stamp anymore – an improvement added to most developed countries because of terrorism – in a generation no one will even remember what a passport stamp is – maybe we will get passport emojis 😉

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      2. Pre 9/11 it was drivers license and/or birth certificate but (for us at least) it is a valid passport although you can take children under 15 across without a passport by law it is still up to the guard examining you – turns out that they can say no just because they want to – people have no right under any law to enter a foreign country – the law was fully in force after 2009

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      3. when I pay taxes I try to forget too – when I go to the hospital or for medical appointments and tests (ignore Mr Pence’s coments about Canaadian healthcare they are not true in the vast majority of cases) I suddenly am a proud Canadian lol

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