I am not a sailor, nor anything close to it, but I have this secret fascination with sailboats, and ancient ships. I often find my self googling pointless things that are related to them.
And the more I thought about it, the more I began to ask my self, "What is a ship's purpose?"
For the longest time I presumed that a ships purpose was to float. However, the more I deliberate the more I found that this can not be true. Floating is the means by which the boat can complete it's purpose. Because a boats purpose is that of any vehicle, to take ___ from point 'A' to point 'B'. A ships purpose is to carry, and to hold. To safely give and to bring back. To discover and to shield it's travelers from the raging sea, as it presses on toward its location.
It sounds pretty basic. However, I realized that for most of my life I have lived under the assumption that a ships purpose is to just float. Isn't that such a shame. To think that my ship would have just been sitting there tied to a post only floating for the past 19 years. Stuck, in the simple sways of its rope's radius. Though, the ship will still face storms, it will have been for nothing, because the ship will have always been next to the safety of a dock. Just floating.
Could it be possible that we live like this too? We live just trying to float, thinking that this was our purpose. Thinking, that if we are capable to float on water, then we are capable to be called a ship. That floating is enough. That just to look as if we are like all the other ships, is fit enough for us to be called, 'our purpose.' Because though we look as if we are about to take on the ocean, we will never moving a muscle from our pier.
This surly cannot be our purpose.
The other night I had a terrible nightmare that the world was going through chaos, as if it was about to breathe it's last. People were running up and down the street chasing the winds roar, while the rain burrowed into the earth. And as I was running too. I was amongst them running and running looking for something. And in the midst of my running, I stopped. I stopped in the middle of the road and looked up at the crackling light sparking across the deep grey sky. I knew in that moment that God was telling me to build a boat. Built a boat?
Who was I Noah? Build a boat. I thought that this couldn't be true. That He couldn't be right. I mean, it was already raining. What good would it do? Plus, I have not the slightest idea how to build a boat. So, I ran in fear. I ran like one more fool among fools. I felt now more so like Jonah, 'hiding' from my purpose.
The dream continued, and some how I found myself in my own home, which was filled with strangers. I walked to the back of my house and look at the sky from my porch. I saw that it was now a dark black slated color. Darker than anything I had ever seen, but it was only in a circular splotch. Yes, it was only a large section of clouds. This darkened patch looked like God had dropped a cloud in the sky like a black splotch of paint.
And in a second.
The thunder screamed and the dark cloud dropped into the earth, the center falling first, like a giant water balloon colliding with the ground. And suddenly the water began rushing into to the house like a raging river, whose rapids quickened, while the water grew higher and higher. It thrashed and bellowed into the home leaving less and less room between the top of water and the bottom of the ceiling, until it finally swept away my kitchen table so that slammed into my legs.
The last thing I remember thinking is in my dream is, "I should of built the boat. I should of built the boat."
And now this is my fear. Lord, I hope I build your boat.
I hope that I don't live my life like my 'dream self.' I hope that in reality - I am better. I hope that I can recognize God's presence, which has been their all along. Waving and yelling from the clouds. I hope that I am not just one more fool running around pretending that I can refuse the call of God. I hope that when the floods come, I will have acted more like Noah. That I will have already built the boat. And that I will not simply let it just float around in the harbor, taunted by the waters edge.
And I hope more than anything, that my last thought will never ever be, 'I should have build the boat.' But instead, 'Yes, my God must surly be here.'
Because if I were given the option to listen to the maker of the boat, or the maker of the entire ocean, the maker of the ocean would win every time.
"Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!'" - Genesis 28:16
Psalm 77:1-20 (The Message)
I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might,
I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.
I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord;
my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.
When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,”
I didn’t believe a word they said.
I remember God—and shake my head.
I bow my head—then wring my hands.
I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep;
I can’t even say what’s bothering me.
I go over the days one by one,
I ponder the years gone by.
I strum my lute all through the night,
wondering how to get my life together.
Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?
Will he never smile again?
Is his love worn threadbare?
Has his salvation promise burned out?
Has God forgotten his manners?
Has he angrily stalked off and left us?
“Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business
just the moment I need him.”
Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.
O God! Your way is holy!
No god is great like God!
You’re the God who makes things happen;
you showed everyone what you can do—
You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble,
rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.
Ocean saw you in action, God,
saw you and trembled with fear;
Deep Ocean was scared to death.
Clouds belched buckets of rain,
Sky exploded with thunder,
your arrows flashing this way and that.
From Whirlwind came your thundering voice,
Lightning exposed the world,
Earth reeled and rocked.
You strode right through Ocean,
walked straight through roaring Ocean,
but nobody saw you come or go.
Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron,
You led your people like a flock of sheep.