Tale of the blue boat
One of our first discoveries on our property was a blue fishing boat. The paint was faded and the hull was beat up, battered, chipped, dented, punctured and generally decrepit. Nonetheless, we tried to fix it. A little epoxy here , a little bondo there... We soon realized, however, that we hadn't made the craft sea worthy...not even for our little pond. So the little blue fishing boat was stored away. Sometimes it's tough to throw something away. And who knows, maybe we were hoping, a little wistfully, that we'd still figure a way to make it a fishing boat once more.
But anyone looking at the boat knew that it would never be used for fishing again.
And so the blue boat sat in the storage Barn. Month after month. Pretty much forgotten.
Meanwhile, the property was consecrated in the Fall of 2004 and the resculpturing of the land for God's church began shortly thereafter. There was much to be done. Land had to be cleared, graded, reshaped and prepared for the Church's foundation. We were all busy...and scrambled like bees to our tasks.
Now, even in the excitement of a new church building going up, our services at the theater still had to go on. Set-up, tear-down. Music rehearsals, nursery preparation, greeters...it all continued. And our Pastor continued preparing and giving sermons. Not too long before the first brick wall rose from the Church foundation, Pastor Lonnie prepared an outline for a Sermon series called Living Bold. He based the series on Peter's writings in 1Peter.
Peter had a fair number of names in the new testament: Simon, Peter, and the Rock. He was a fisherman by trade when Jesus came upon him. And as you know, Christ called him ashore and said 'I will make you a fisher of men.' So Peter is a pretty interesting guy for a sermon series. Christ calls him the Rock and charges him with founding His church, even though Christ knew Peter would deny him three times at his crucifixion. Peter is even more intimately associated with the cross because Christ tells him that his evangelism will lead him to his own crucifixion. And, of course, that's exactly what happened.
A few days before Lonnie gave the fifth sermon in the Living Bold series( Improve Your Standard of Living), the storage barn was knocked down by bulldozers. The blue fishing boat was momentarily free...but quickly wound up in a dumpster. But then our Groundskeeper, Gary, realized that there could be recycled value in the aluminum. So, he pulled the boat out of the dumpster and placed it at the top of our property, on a small hill of recently graded soil. Salvage operators would come later and haul the boat away.
Right after Lonnie's sermon on Improve Your Standard of Living, your website editor went over to take some photos of the Church construction. Lonnie's words about Peter the Rock and Fisherman were still ringing in my ears. When I went over to one of the newly formed windows, I got my first peek at the blue boat. I'd never seen it before. That was about the last thing I expected to see, looking through our mint new church window at the burgeoning condo complexes below.
My curiosity was thoroughly aroused now. So, I went around to take a closer look.
Yep, it was a fishing boat all right. And as other persons had previously assessed, its fishing days were certainly over. Odd, though. Just a little. Perched there after all those years. High above the homes below. I went down below the boat to take a look at the parking lot grading. And with my back to the houses, looking up the hill to our Church, this is what I saw.
I wasn't sure I was seeing what I thought I was, so I got a bit closer.
There, our little blue boat sat before....well...you can see it now. Three crosses, formed by the bracing put up by masons. The center cross higher than the rest and hovering over the boat. Here's the same photo with the support poles removed.
Sometimes, a boat is just a boat. Bricks are just bricks. And there are other times when God whispers to us and reminds us that a boat abandoned long ago for fishing in water....
...was just the beginning of fishing for a more precious catch.
Music(click to see lyrics): He'll Do It Again - Dave Miller