“On the sand I” (long pause) “have abandoned my small boat.”
These words from the sheet of music went through my mind again and again. Someone had written at the bottom of the page, ‘I thought you might like this pretty little song. They sang it at the city church we visited last summer.’
I don’t know where the ‘small church’ was or who visited it or when. I’d just been presented with the music to see if I’d find it suitable for Sunday’s solo. Certainly pretty, I mused, and ..haunting? No, not haunting, more like thought-provoking, captivating, challenging.
I could see and feel the sand on the lakefront in that song. It would be cool and packed solid where the waters lapped against it, drier and lighter and lighter hued the further into shore - where the boat lay - on its side? - overturned? In how much of a hurry did its captain leave?
Wasn’t he afraid to leave it? Didn’t it bother him that someone would surely take it? Or wouldn’t they? Was it such a different kind of culture? But he said he abandoned it so he was that sure he wouldn’t change his mind and turn back. Wow.
‘Wow’ for several reasons. They say when your ‘mistress’ is the sea, its hard to change, yet he did. Also, what a beautiful life to leave behind. A boat on the crystal blue waters, the sun on your face, the fragrant breeze ruffling your hair. I smiled longingly thinking of it all.
Of course, there was the work, too. I bet it was satisfying, if long, hard, dirty, stressful. I pictured the shop owner complaining, dealing. “This is all you have? These fish are so small and scrawny. Hardly worth my time. Where did you catch them? The other side of the world? They are no longer fresh - they stink! I will pay you one quarter what you ask - that is the best I can do, and I’m being generous. Bring me something better tomorrow!” Behind the fisherman’s back he was saying, “What a great deal I’ve made! What an uneducated fool the fisherman is!”
Or did the shopkeeper say, “Ah Peter, come here, you always bring me the best. I will buy all you have, but I will state the price. I have to make a living, too. (A handshake, a pat on the back.) Thank you, see you tomorrow.”
Whether the good or the bad scenario, or a mix of the two, fishing was what he knew. Whatever made him leave his boat it had to have been so compelling.
How wonderful to get such a clear call! To leave the job you know, the job that supports you (albeit might be fraught with stress, drama and competition).
Ah, but this song isn’t about me, its about becoming a disciple. I yank my mind back to the present. Yes this will work just fine as a solo on Sunday.
But, I feel like there’s something more here. It’s an example to me. Can I too leave my small boat, my boat of dog-eat-dog ambition, competition?
‘On the sand I have abandoned my small boat. Now, with you, I will seek other seas.
The song is Pescador de Hombres by Cesareo Gabarain
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