Monday, January 11, 2010

A boat called Jesus

I was listening to Canon Edgar Ruddock recently who works for USPG and he showed this photo as part of his presentation. I was struck by the image. I found it to be a powerful picture of life with God.

I have only been sailing a couple of times and the first occasion was particulalrly memorable. I was in a tiny boat in the lake district surrounded by gale force winds with two other inexperienced sailors. My head had the inevitable introduction to the boon and I spent most of the time completely frozen and clinging to the edge of the boat in absolute fear. The water loomed, the boat rocked and I couldn't wait to get out. I didn't trust the crew and I didn't trust the boat.

To be a follower of Jesus is to be in a boat like the one in this picture. Initially it is about stepping in at the shore. It is good and the sun is shining. There is a sense of the unknown and adventure awaits.

However, the boat will find its way to the sea. In the bible the sea often a metaphor for the unknown or for chaos. Life is like being cast onto this sea and the same sense of coldness and fear can arise. The difference with the boat above compared to the boat I began sailing in is that the boat has the name Jesus. When we step into this boat named Jesus we find it trustworthy.

Adventure, fear, chaos, and coldness may still await on the open ocean. But we engage with these things in Jesus.

For me, life in this boat is better, than life out of it. I would rather the boat take me out on the sea than remain safe on dry land. The boat is adventure, the boat is a greater glimpse of life. The boat is where I want to be...

The whole image reminded me of this quote...

"If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

-Antione de Saint-Exupery

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