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Baby Steps and Big Boats

He stood up on his first birthday before anyone ever got there for his party and took at least three steps.  It was so neat to see his sense of accomplish meant on his one year old face.  Then he sat down and didn’t walk again until the next day.  It was incredible, we had been working with him on how to take those small steps and finally he did it.  He didn’t take off and run around the room, he literally moved two feet and sat down.  So why am I trying to run on newly healed legs?  Not literally, my legs are fine, a little lazy, but spiritually, newly healed.  Spiritually I just got pulled out of the pit.  My legs are sore, but I can’t stand in one place, there is no growth there, and I don’t feel God wanting me to, there is a path on which to follow Jesus.

The first time I ever went deep sea fishing the ocean was rough.  I think it was six to ten foot seas that day.  It didn’t take me too long to get my sea legs. I don’t really get sea sick either so I was just enjoying the ride for a while.

There is a modern day parable I just recently read.  It makes a lot of sense.  I’ll give you the short of it.  A wealthy man built a boat.  His concentration on the boat centered around only what people saw.  He didn’t care for the underside of the boat.  Oh he built it and it floated, he just didn’t invest his time on what could not be seen.  He only wanted people to be in awe of the grandeur above the water.  When he sailed it out of the harbor all his colleagues marveled at how it looked and how wonderful it was.  Yet when he encountered a storm, all of those pieces that he had placed no care for began to fail.  The ship was crushed by the waves, and all the beauty of the deck was taken down by the ocean in a storm that any other boat built the right way would have survived.  The lesson here is easy to see, you cannot build a boat only above the water line.

I spent twelve years working on the boat of my life above the water.  I took for granted the things that I really needed to be concentrating on, such as what was actually going to carry me over the water, the parts that could survive the storm.  I lost focus on what was important.  It’s not about people seeing the successes of your life, it’s about people seeing your ability to actually survive life in a much better way than the rest of the world.  I wanted to be famous.  I wanted to be well known, and I wanted people to be in awe of me.  I didn’t take into account that appearances must be backed up by ability.  It’s a tough lesson to learn.  You cannot simply say that you are solid, you actually have to be on solid ground too.

The foundation we must have before we can ever hope to even set sail is Christ.  We must have his support!  If we do not depend on Him, have what we need from him under the water line, then everything we build will sink. When the storms come we will quickly discover without strong basics and support our boat will capsize and sink.  Just like Jesus’ parable of the two house builders.  If you build your house on the sand you are going to be swept away.  If you set it on the rock of Christ, then no storm can avail against it.  I’m tired of being washed away.  I want to be grounded in Christ.  The only way I am ever going to be able to survive in this world is to completely rely on Him.  That takes more surrender, daily surrender, and understanding that like the preacher told me in church, I am not in control.

In that realization, I also have to learn how to walk again.  I may run one day, but that is not today.  I am still healing; Jesus is taking it slow, because that is what I can handle.  One day, one minute at a time, every step with Him.  It is amazing how freeing it is to not have to pick yourself up and try to walk.  It is amazing to feel God’s strength.   One more encouraging thought about baby steps, the more you take the further you get.  Keep going and before long you will be further than you thought you could be. Before you know it you are smiling and laughing again, and the problems in your life seem so much smaller.

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