2011-11-16 - The Beautiful Blue Boat
We live near several lakes, so there are a lot of fishermen nearby. It naturally follows, that there are all kinds of boats, from luxurious yachts to tiny kayaks. There's one boat, in particular, that has been "catching my eye" for a long time. We drive by it several times a week, and every time we see this lovely royal blue 1954 Cabin Cruiser parked in someone's yard, with a "For Sale" sign on it, I wish it was parked in our yard. For all I know, it would just sink to the bottom of the lake (which wouldn't be far, considering that the drought has put some of our water levels 14 feet below normal!). But the boat is just so beautiful. The price seemed good - in fact - maybe "too good to be true". After longingly gazing at it for several months, we finally stopped and checked it out. Initially, we were surprised to find that he motor was in good shape, and the trailer was pretty new. Then, holding our breath, we prepared to look inside the boat. We didn't know what we'd find. Rotting timbers? Rust? Trash? None of the above. The "innards" of the boat were very clean, painted very white - but what was inside was ... (drum roll please) nothing. Just some fallen pine needles. Otherwise, the boat was totally empty. The lovely blue work of nautical art was like an empty shell.
It reminds me of a warning from our Lord Jesus, in Matthew 23:27 (The Message): "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs; beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity."
What do you look like spiritually on the outside? What do your fellow church members or coworkers think of your spiritual walk with God? Do you seem to be doing everything right? showing up every time the door is open etc., and yet something is missing? Do your spiritual "innards" match up with your outward appearance, or are you empty, spiritually dead inside? Are you in a dry spell in your relationship with God? Or are your insides all tied up in legalism? Is your thought life pure, or have you fallen into sins that sully your heart?
God can take care of all these matters. As 1 John 1:9 reminds us, if we repentantly confess our sins, God will forgive them. And He can revitalize our relationship with Him, but we must do our part ? reading His word, praying for the Spirit's touch upon our hearts and lives, fellowshipping with other Christians, and worshipping and serving in a local church.
Are you a lovely but empty boat, or is your relationship with God a fully-functioning one, revved up and ready to hit the water?