Sitting alone on the deck of our yacht I mulled over my predicament. I hate sailing, yet I love it. What a quandary. I dread the fear that overwhelms me on the rough seas, but cherish the closeness I experience with God. Am I closer to God here because I have plenty of time to think, or do I need God more because of my fear? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t give up my time on the boat for anything.
I called out to God. “It’s me, Abba. You must get tired of listening to me whine. Mario’s asleep. I hate it when he goes to bed early. Why am I supposed to be tired just because the sun set? ”
I was ashamed that I was whining. I needed to think positive and improve my mood. I started singing, “Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a wonderful feeling everything’s going my way.” Even my unabashed singing didn’t wake Mario up. With enthusiastic abandon I hollered out to the man in the moon.
“Hey Mr. Moon Man, it’s just you and me in this big sea.
Do you have enough time to answer a question for me?
Why did you stay hidden behind the storm clouds late last night?
I needed you to shine brightly and you gave me a fright.”
I knew there wouldn’t be an answer from Mr. Moon, yet I heard a voice clearly.
“Well young lady, so obviously naïve and forlorn,
You should have used the brain God gave you the day you were born.
I’m not a compass or a GPS and you had both.
God gave you everything you needed but you were a sloth.”
I recognized God’s voice and understood His reprimand. I made excuses. “I hate the wind, the waves, the stormy sea, it’s not for me,” I adamantly declared.
The voice gently admonished, “But Jane, I’m drawing Mario close to Me, can’t you see? You’ve prayed for this, and I’m reaching him here don’t you agree?”
I whispered with a sigh. “Yes, God, I see. I hope we survive, that’s my only plea.”
I needed an attitude adjustment. Last night’s overnight sail left me flustered and homesick. Mario and I had taken turns manning the deck in three hour shifts while the other one slept. Mario loved it. I hated it. The wind increased into squalls. I had trouble managing the sailboat by myself. By the time Mario came back on deck, I was in tears, close to panic, wet, and freezing cold. I wanted to go home to solid ground. Today exhaustion had set in, and I slept for several hours. Sleep evaded me now, so here I sat, alone on deck.
Resignedly I prayed. “I loath the yacht, God, but if it draws Mario closer to You, then please help me to embrace it. You’ve brought me through squalls, hurricanes, rum smugglers, drug runners, coral reefs, and sharks. Not to mention Mario taking sick and being injured leaving me to rescue him from the sea. Every time You were right there with me. You have never let me down. I love having You on my crew. How can I thank You?”
As I finished praying my mind filled with thoughts. I wanted our children to know all the lessons God taught us on this boat. I should have kept a record of everything. It’s too late for a diary. I’ve got eleven years of memories; exciting, life changing memories at that. Then a piece of scripture popped into my head.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
I became excited. I can take all these stories and incorporate them into a book for our children and grandchildren, I thought. Mario and I can work on it together. What a way to keep the memories alive. I can’t wait. What an inspiration.
Excitedly I prayed, “Dear Lord, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
The book was completed two years later in July of 2008, the same day the yacht sold.
Oh What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II
All scripture quoted from the NIV Bible.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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