We'd gone in a circle it seemed. The eight of us in the pontoon boat were pondering where we were. The big lake had no familiar landmarks for us. The steadily falling rain and wind beating against the canvas and plastic only increased our sense of lostness in the grey Sunday afternoon. Yesterday had been a glorious day in our rented boat, a special family weekend plan to look over lake life while we could.
Now I, the driver, was particularly worried about how we were going to get to our destination and then back home in time to turn in the boat. I wondered aloud if we should stop at a dock and see if some cottager would take pity on us and help us find our place on the map. But how to tell who was home in the midst of the drizzle? Hardly any other boats were on the water, and we, the brave but seemingly foolish ones, had ventured forth to make the most of our investment.
"Let's pray", came the suggestion, and we all agreed. A moment or two later the proud towers of the new resort beckoned like sentinels from the high cliffs beyond. We moved in their direction, and recognized the familiar numbered buoys in the waters ahead. At last we would be able to match three dimensional reality with the map we had been trying to follow. With sighs of relief, we found our place on the map, and reoriented our course.
Reflecting upon the possibilities of what might have happened, we were quick to note God's faithfulness in meeting our need when we put our only hope in Him. Too tired to eloquently spout parables or draw fine object lessons to impress each other, we tucked in our vulnerability and hung our hearts on the reward to come of making port for a break in the journey, and finding our way home again.
Half an hour later, cheered by steamy cappucinos from the trendy lakeside nautical shop, we piled in again for the next leg of the journey, relieved that there were fewer islands to provide circles to get lost in again.
Somehow it seemed to me that God wouldn't let me have even a boat tour without a reminder of my need for Him. I'd wondered what I'd learn most about on this voyage among million dollar boathouses. I already had a distaste for that lifestyle. No need to learn more about that. But I did need a reminder that even in my genteel poverty but seeming wealth for a weekend it was not right to even have the luxury of looking down upon others with material riches. Out there on the choppy waters in the pouring rain I and we were in the same "boat" with everyone else on the lake....completely helpless without a map and numbered buoys.