Love Boat to Åland


Isaiah, the trip organizer, arranged an overnight ferry from Stockholm to Mariehamn, capital of Åland.  Åland is an autonomous island group nominally belonging to Finland.

The ferry is easily the biggest ferry I’ve ever taken, and in reality, it’s as much cruise ship as it is a ferry.  There are two car decks, two observation decks, two restaurant and shopping decks, a conference deck, and five decks of cabins.  I had booked the cheapest cabin, which was on the Anchor Deck, below the car decks.  I suspect that the Anchor Deck is actually below water.  The only passenger areas on the Anchor Deck are the hallways to the cabins and the elevators.  The cabin was pretty nice, but small and definitely not fancy.  The rest of the ship was very nice, and it was like being on a cruise—or at least what I imagine that a cruise ship would be like.


Since this was an overnight ferry, I didn’t do much other than watch the sunset, watch the sunrise, eat and sleep.  But there was a big group of elderly travelers who must have had a group and/or senior discount.  Two of the men from the group came and sat with me.  They asked about Texas and about Italy.  Well, one did.  The other was nearly deaf and couldn’t understand me even though he understood his friend’s English.  Then he asked if I dance.  I answered: “Yes.  Badly, but with a certain enthusiasm.”  He pointed to his friend, saying, “He loves to dance.”  That’s when it occurred to me that they might be hitting on me.  At just that moment, their tour guide called them back over to the group, and I left the area, too.

A well-known prophet prophesied over me a few years ago that there was the possibility to find love again.  My reaction then was No Thanks!  Now, I’m less emphatically against finding romance.  I recognize that it’s very easy to say no to a man you’ve never met.  But I don’t want anything to distract me from ministry.  I want, like Paul, to run the race well, and most of all to finish well[1].

So, while I want this Love Boat to bring me to Mariehamn, to bring the love of God back to Åland, I am not looking for romance along the way.  Maybe the race will have a few hurdles along the way.  God help me to leap over them and keep running!  God is good!

[1] Philippians 2:16.

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