Monday, March 11, 2013


“In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” - Acts 24:16 I love to sail. Well, I used to love to sail. It’s been a while since I’ve hit the water and raised the canvas. But I remember the sound of the silence on the water as the vessel clicks along. I remember the simplicity of the wind and the sail. And I remember the beauty of the challenge of the tacking- the art of trimming the sail to just the right point to max the winds without tipping the boat. I’ve never had a boat of my own, but my kids, Elizabeth and Eric, took care of that a few years ago. For Fathers’ day, they gave me a 20-foot 84 Starwind sailboat! And it’s awesome. Eric had a friend that wanted to get rid of it so they bought it for a song and gave it to me. So, have I been sailing every weekend ever since? Nope. There are a few…well, challenges that will have to be overcome before the boat sails. First, the boat has a hole in the bow. It got hit by a fallen tree and has a foot wide hole in the fiberglass that needs to be patched. Secondly, the boat is missing a main sail and boom. They were never found when we picked up the boat. So, the sailing waits until the repairs are made. Of course, I don't have to wait. I could tow the boat to the lake, ease it into the water and set sail. But the boat would eventually sink and it wouldn’t move without a sail. That would be ridiculous. But isn't that what we do in our walks with the Lord? We take off “sailing” through the day unprepared and poorly equipped and then act shocked and angry when we’re sinking. We cry, “God, why would you allow me to sink? I thought you loved me!” We cry, “Rescue me” to the Lord instead of recognizing our lack of obedience in letting him prepare us to sail in the first place. Too often, we create the very crisis we secretly blame on God. Sailboats are awesome when they are correctly equipped to do the thing for which they were created. Just like any moving thing, the boat requires maintenance and upkeep to stay true to its purpose. The Christian life is just like that. We require maintenance to stay true and honest in our walks with the Lord. Sure, we’re saved once and for all when we come to know Jesus, but as long as we live in the flesh, we require the regular maintenance of forgiveness and fellowship. Just like that sailboat, we’re at our best when we’re patched and possessing the right equipment. Paul said, in so many words, “Keep your heart clean.” And then in Ephesians he reminded us to, “put on the right equipment.” They are choices we make every day. Sure, we need to pray about those decisions, but mostly we need to choose to do the repair work. As parents our kids are watching and imitating the way we live our lives. The way we walk with God sets the pattern for the way our children follow God. It's a huge responsibility. I can't wait to hit the water in my patched and mended sailboat. But I have some repairing to do first. And you know what? I’m looking forward to the work too. By Eric Joseph Staples ©

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