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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: LET THERE BE BOATS
By Jan Kamp
03/11/06


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Trying to find things to entertain my active four- and six-year-old grandsons during a summer visit to our small, rural upstate New York town was not an easy task. Our one claim to fame and possible tourist attraction for the single-digit age group was Lock 15, historic double lock of the Erie Canal.

Just sitting there doing nothing, the lock probably wouldn’t interest them much, and boat traffic on the Mohawk River on a weekday could be slim to none; but we would at least enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the two tables in the little park next to the river. So off we went with a bag full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, juice boxes, chips and cookies.

The boys ran to the observation area where I attempted to explain in grade school-level terms how the gates would open at one end of the lock to let the boats in, then close and fill with water or empty out until it was the same level as the river on the other side, then let the boat out.

We settled at a table, unpacked our lunch and bowed our heads to ask God’s blessing. Almost as an afterthought, I added, “Lord, would you please send a boat through while we are here. It might help the boys understand how the lock works, but even more so, they would just enjoy seeing a boat.”

Just as we finished lunch, we noticed activity at the gatekeeper’s station. I scanned the river in both directions; sure enough, a small pleasure craft was approaching from the east. “Hey, look Guys,” I said pointing down the river, “There’s a boat coming through.” We quickly cleaned up the trash and raced to the observation area again. By then the boat was well within view and close behind was another, and another…oh, my goodness…five boats in all, probably out on an excursion together!

As the boats drew near, the gates opened. Once inside, a crew member on each waited to catch a rope tossed so they could stabilize the boat at the side. One by one they lined the sides of the lock. When they were all in, the gates closed and the water began to rise. We waved at the people on the boats who smiled and waved back. The boys watched in fascination as the gates opened on the other side and boats continued on their journey.

Isn’t that so like God! I can just picture Him smiling...no,laughing out loud for pulling that one off. “Yup, she asked for a boat, and I sent her five!”


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This article has been read 680 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 03/13/06
Super story, well-written with a neat message. Good job.
Jessica Schmit03/14/06
Great job! What a sweet story.
Jan Ackerson 03/15/06
Love your last paragraph!
Helen Paynter03/16/06
Yes - isn't GOd just like that! THank you
Naomi Deutekom03/17/06
I love the "lock" variation!