For over a year, Chelsea and I have been talking about going on a cruise with my dad. We finally decided that we would try to go around this Christmas and as it got closer, Chelsea's parents and sister decided that they wanted to join us as well. Since my dad is moving to South Korea in January, this would be a perfect way to spend some time with him before he leaves. When we arrived at the cruise port in Galveston, Texas, I was thinking that the worst thing that could happen was that my black suit I had bought for the formal nights had needed exchanged due to manufacturer defects and had shipped the day we left. However, when we got out of our cars, the porters who took our luggage grabbed my dad's carry-on which had his passport and boarding pass in it. By the time the mistake was realized, the luggage was well on its way into the hold of the Carnival Breeze. The rest of us boarded so we could hopefully pull the paperwork out of the bag when it was delivered to his stateroom, but unfortunately it didn't show up until several hours after we had left the port - where my dad was left behind.
It honestly was so shocking that it didn't sink in right away - we had left on our seven-day western caribbean cruise without my dad. As the realization hit me, I broke down and started sobbing uncontrollably. Then the questions started coming like, "What could we have done differently to avoid this?" and, "Should we have all just gotten off the ship?" In the book of Revelation we read this promise, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Revelation 21:4). This occurs directly after the millennium, after we have been in heaven for one thousand years, reviewing the records of those who did and did not make it to heaven. This is important to notice because I believe there will be a lot of tears that first day in heaven as we look around and discover that people we love are missing. Then the questions will start coming like, "What could we have done differently to avoid this?" Today, while there's still time, evaluate your life and see if there's anything you can do differently so that you don't leave any of your friends behind.