Sunday, August 9, 2009

Channel Markers

A few weeks ago, Carl and I were privileged to go out with our good friends, Steve and Lori on their boat. I absolutely love being out on the water. It was a beautiful day. We started out in Daytona and rode up to St. Augustine. We met another friend, enjoyed a great lunch together, walked around the old historic town for awhile and headed back home on the boat.

On the way back, Lori and I were sitting, talking in the back of the boat when all of a sudden there was a loud noise from the motor and the boat stopped almost on a dime. I had no idea what happened, but when Lori said "Uh-Oh", I figured it probably wasn't a good thing.

It seems that on the inter coastal waterway there are channel markers every so many feet. Staying inside the channel markers assures the boaters that the water will be deep enough for the boats to safely pass through. But this day the channel marker wasn't clearly visible. Another small boat was in front of us and Steve was following the small boat. And suddenly we were in shallow water and the prop got stuck in the dirt. The boat stopped. Fortunately for us, Steve got out into the water, cleaned off the dirt and maneuvered the prop enough to get us out of the dirt and back into deeper waters.

Each time I think about that incident on the boat, I am reminded of my life. God puts channel markers in my life to warn me when I am about to head into trouble. I am ashamed to say that many times, I have ignored the channel markers because I wanted my own way. Sometimes the markers were clearly visible and I just chose not to stay inside the deeper waters. Other times the markers weren't as visible because I had drifted to far away from God to see them well. Never the less, every time I went outside His markers, I got into trouble. But each time I got off course, God got out of the boat, cleaned off the dirt and got me headed back into deeper waters, where I was once again, safe.

No matter how many markers we fail to see. No matter how far we have drifted. No matter how much dirt we are buried in. He is always there to set us back on the right course. To lead us back to safe waters. God knows that we will continue to have times when we will drift outside of His channel markers. We are human. He knows we are not perfect. He takes no pleasure in seeing us stuck in the mud. That's why He gave us His son. He is a God of second chances and third chances. All He needs is a contrite heart and he will jump out of the boat, clean up our mess and set us back onto the right path.