And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18
When we planned our trip to Alaska, Vancouver was simply the place where we got off the ship; the city where we would spend a few days resting before we headed back to the real world. We were surprised by what a remarkable city Vancouver was. In fact, it is a city worthy of a trip all on its own.
We only had three days so hit the ground running. We had to leave the cruise ship early in the morning so took the shuttle to our hotel, left our bags in storage and set off to see the city on foot. The bellman directed us to the waterfront and False Creek. After walking about fifteen blocks, I was grateful to sit down on a cute, multicolored vessel shaped like a small tugboat. We purchase the day long ticket and spent time going up and down the river learning about the city and its sights.
I did not realize that Vancouver was once the site of the Olympics. From False Creek, we could see the stadium and other venues now in use for city and regional sporting events. We also saw the space aged science museum with its state of the art exhibits and hands on children’s museum, lots of interesting public art, rowing clubs working out and individuals enjoying the beach areas and parks. Our favorite stop was the Granville Market where musicians entertained along the riverbank and food and craft vendors hawked their wares. If I had been able to bring produce through customs, I would have left all our dirty clothes behind and brought home a suitcase full of cherries!
The historian in me was pleased to see so many historic buildings. Vancouver has many Victorian era brick buildings with fanciful designs, towers and buttresses wedged among the modern skyscrapers. I saw signs explaining a unique preservation tool: selling of air rights over historic buildings. Newly constructed buildings are limited to a certain height in historic districts, but can be raised higher if the developers purchase the “air rights” over already existing historic buildings nearby. This allows the owners of historic properties to raise money to preserve their building and is an incentive to keep those old buildings intact instead of tearing them down when the land is more valuable than the building.
A Baptist Church planned to use the money that they earned from selling their air rights to restore their historic sanctuary, build affordable housing and a community kitchen. What an awesome way to use the new to save the old, allow for growth and help the neighborhood! But, it made me wonder who I am selling my “air rights” to. You know, the people who I let govern my mood and attitude. Do I give others the right to control the way I think about myself, to float their opinions of me above the one that I know it true? Or do I remember who God says I am and stand on His Word?