What does “loving God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength” have to do with a boat “planing” on the water? Hmmmm, that’s a very interesting question. Is there any connection? Well, we don’t have time to contact Leonardo da Vinci or Thomas Aquinas, so I guess I’m going to have to jump in with some of my own insights.
If you’ve ever noticed a boat slowly going through the water, it looks to be “fighting the water”…pushing the water out of the way; usually the front of the boat (the bow) is high in the air, while the back of the boat (stern) is low. As speed increases, the boat tends to level out and skim on top of the water. The motor is not straining as much and you zip right along. (Technically speaking, “the speed increases, hydrodynamic lift increases, and the buoyant force decreases as the hull lifts out of the water, decreasing the displaced volume. At some speed, lift becomes the predominant upward force on the hull and the vessel is “planing”. I got that from the Internet.)
Well, I think there’s some comparisons between “how you drive a boat and how you love the Lord”. Stay with me now, this is getting pretty deep….listen carefully. When I try to tentatively seek the Lord and cautiously serve him…carefully measuring out my response to him, my life tends to be like that boat at low speed… the motor is struggling, the boat is barely moving…everything seems to be a big effort with not a lot of fruit. I’m really depending on “my effort alone” to make progress. However, when I decide to dive in and give my all to the Lord, it gets easier. My life gets more peaceful ..I experience the power of God’s grace. It’s not as hard…. I’m “planing” on the water of the Holy Spirit.
So the message of this BLOG is that while we’re called to give 100% in loving and serving the Lord, it’s actually easier than trying to do it at half speed or even 75% or even 90%. When I occasionally let go and really try to give the Lord all…I do so much better, my life is more peaceful, I see more fruit, I begin to glide on the water of the Holy Spirit.
Gee, if that’s true, why don’t I do that all the time …why don’t I get out of the boat like Peter did and stay out …. why don’t I always give 100% ? Boy, those are good questions. I guess like Peter I get afraid of the waves and the storm and feel like I’m sinking and have to cry out “Lord save me, I’m perishing”. And then Jesus helps me and I try again.
So, Advent is a good time to “try again”. God will help us. Let’s give 100% and get that boat up out of the water, gliding along at high speed with the wind in our face and the thrill of serving the Lord in our soul. Wow, now that sound good.