Please-Don’t knock the boat
Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 11:24 am
By: Russell Cherry
When I was but a small child and my Mother wanted me to go to sleep, she would either read to me or enlist my older sister Nancy Ann to tell to me a bedtime story. Please allow me to share one with you and your small children. I pray that it doesn’t put you to sleep half-way through it.
Once upon a time in a far, far away land, a father had a heart-to-heart talk with one of his sons, whose name was Noah. He informed his son that he had some work that needed to be done and would appreciate it if Noah would get busy on it right-away. Noah was a good son and was happy to do anything his Father would ask of him. So he listened to hear what was on his Dad’s mind.
Sometimes children are asked to do things for their parent or parents that seem to be just a little too much, if not impossible. Some children are too busy to do much of anything for Mom and Pop.
That is the way things are today, but this was a long time ago. Many of you have experienced a similar situation having “Been There and Done That!” Noah’s Father did not think what he asked was unreasonable. Suffice-to-say, when Noah heard what his Father wanted, he had reservations.
“Son,” said Noah’s father, “I want you to build for me a wooden boat as big as an ocean liner, fill it with straw, hay, food and animals. Make it about the length or more of a couple of football fields and make it out of Gopher wood. Don’t forget to put windows near the upper deck and one large ramp-door in the side so there will be only one way on and off. Don’t be overly concerned with the large size of the door, I’ll see to it that it gets shut.”
If Noah was anything like children are today, he probably answered his father in this tone of voice. “Listen Father, I have a few problems with what you are asking. First of all. I am a shepherd, a keeper of cattle and know little, if anything, about working with wood or being a carpenter. If I were a carpenter, it would take several years, perhaps a hundred, to build this thing, if I had that much lumber, which I don’t. I have no woodworking tools and cannot saw a straight line. I know you have told me often enough that any thing can be done if we approach the task with the right frame of mind. I’m gonna need a lot of help doing this if it can be done at all. I’m an old man. Can you not find someone younger and stronger?”
Noah’s father answered his son by saying, “Of course I’ll be with you. Nothing is too hard for me. Don’t worry about the tools and the wood or anything else. I will supply you with everything that you need to get the job done, ONLY BELIEVE. Oh! By the way, when the people come around to look at this construction project, you can preach to them and tell them that the water needed to float this boat will come in a flood. If they want a ticket to ride, they need to approach me in the way that you will instruct them.”
Time passed and the sound of the saws and hammers could be heard throughout the land. Men used axes to cut great timbers into wooden beams and delivered them to the construction sight carried by elephants. A mountain of wood began to rise against the back drop of the clear, blue sky. Many of the people were hired to help work, for Noah paid decent wages, even if they had to listen to him preach most of the time.
Curious onlookers gathered from near and far to see the largest man-made object ever put together take shape on dry land. Many, if not all, of them considered Noah the biggest fool they would ever know for the ocean was miles away, and they did not have enough elephants on earth to move this monstrosity one inch. This crazy old man kept talking about something they had never heard of called “rain.”
About a hundred years passed and people continued to marry and have families and go about their somewhat normal lives. The thing that held the center of their attention was that big wooden boat and the old fool on the hill that was overseeing its building. Many of their children grew up hearing him preach his sermons about a disaster and flood that would someday come. No one paid the old fool any attention anyway.
How surprised the people were when the animal parade began. Snorting zebras and bellowing elephants all lined up in rows along with every other kind of bird and beast, shoulder-to-shoulder and two-by-two headed to the top of the hill and the home of the old fool called “Noah.” Upward and onward they went, continuing up the ramp and through the door opening, filling all of the stalls and lighting on every bird roost, each to their assigned place.
Father told Noah to take all of his family and go inside of the boat and when the last one was on board there was a loud thump as Father shut the door. The rains fell and the flood rose for dozens of days and the boat floated away with the Father at the helm. A whole world of people perished and a boat filled with eight people and many animals and birds were saved during that time. When the boat finally landed like some alien spacecraft, the people and the animals all got off. All were saved by an obedient carpenter.
I believe that some day in the not too distant future, Father will send yet another carpenter who is his Son also, and we will float away with him through halls of air to our eternal home.
Brother Russell Cherry