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Friday, February 22, 2008

Sailboats or Powerboats

This last weekend at church, we looked at John 6 and the story of Jesus walking on water. I'm always amazed at the detail included at the very end of the passage- as soon as Jesus stepped into the boat, they reached their destination. I studied hard last week to find a way to rationalize or de-mystify this act, but the truth is, even in the original Greek, this is clearly being lifted up as miraculous.

I couldn't help but reflect on how the disciples had spent hours and hours on the sea, rowing with 12 sets of strong arms, and only achieving the halfway point. And then the Savior of the world walks by, gets in their boat, and suddenly they reach the other side. Journey over. I've been reflecting on the areas of my life where I am hard at work, paddling with all my might, but oblivious to the fact that Jesus is asking to enter my boat.

A fellow student at Bethel last week suggested that there are essentially two-types of people in this world; those who follow the powerboat approach, and those who follow the sailboat approach. People in powerboats control the speed, direction, and pretty much everything about the journey. They flip a switch, rev the engine, and point the ship where they think it needs to go. People in a sailboat do a lot more waiting and watching the wind. They sense where the breeze is blowing, and then they hoist the sails. With the sails lifted, the wind carries them along.

Powerboats make a lot of sense. They're predictable and controllable. They make a lot of noise and produce a lot of motion. And yet, as we look at life spiritually, I have to ask: do they get you to the right place? And what happens when you run out of gas? I can get busy living the powerboat life- steering my life where I want it to go, and only too late do I realize I'm out of gas, the Jesus is nowhere near.

What would it take to live a sailboat life? More waiting on God and his direction. More contemplation of my own motives and a willingness to let God take me where He wants. If I'm willing to do this, the payoff seems huge. Because in the sailboat, it's His energy and not mine. In the sailboat, I am the passenger and He the captain. And I have the idea that in this scenario, much like in John 6, with Jesus in the boat and pushing it with his wind, I'll reach the other shore.

My your journey be in a sailboat this week,

Nick

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