A Mother and her Two Daughters

12 July 2010

Swim Out To Your Ship - Quick!

"Don't wait for your ship to come in; instead, swim out to it."

This was the quote on last Tuesday’s CJRW daily bulletin.  The ever-brilliant Sandy makes sure that at the end of my company’s electronic bulletin, there is something inspiring or informative to help begin the day with the right attitude.  Tuesday’s quote was especially meaningful as Monday night my cousin Lesli from San Antonio called by phone to visit.  Our conversation ended up being one of those very deep discussions about who is it that gets credit for my healing – is it my medical team or God?  Or, as this discussion went, “or is it both?” 

Cousin Leslie reminded me of a story in faith that goes something like this . . .

It had been raining for days and days, and a terrible flood had come over the land. The waters rose so high that one man was forced to climb onto the roof of his house to avoid the floodwaters, faithfully praying to God to save him.

As the waters rose higher and higher, a man in a rowboat appeared, and told him to get in. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the man in the rowboat went away. The man on the roof prayed for God to save him.

The waters rose higher and higher, and suddenly a speedboat appeared. “Climb in!” shouted a man in the boat. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord; the Lord will save me.” So the man in the speedboat went away. The man on the roof prayed even harder, knowing that God would save him.

The waters continued to rise. A helicopter appeared and over the loudspeaker, the pilot announced he would lower a rope to the man on the roof. “No,” replied the man on the roof. “I have faith in the Lord, the Lord will save me.” So the helicopter went away. The man on the roof prayed again for God to save him, steadfast in his faith.

The waters rose higher and higher, and eventually they rose so high that the man on the roof was washed away, and alas, the poor man drowned.

Upon arriving in heaven, the man marched straight over to God. “Heavenly Father,” he said, “I had faith in you, I prayed to you to save me, and yet you did nothing. Why?” God gave him a puzzled look, and replied “I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what more did you expect than that?

This story is one for great discussion. 

When we ask God for help, what is it that we are looking for?   Is it a burning bush or the parting of the river?  Is it our own personal cure, or is it strength and inner peace for whatever the future may hold?  Lesli and I talked about the need to accept His care in whatever form He sends our way –even if it’s two boats and a helicopter, or a team of brilliant doctors to care for all things medical about this nasty cancer.  Does God work through human gifts, like brilliant physicians?  In my opinion, ABSOLUTELY!  He works through all of us as we reach out to those in need.    

If we believe that God is in all things, we can understand that He can send us many avenues for spiritual growth too – such as new opportunities to deepen our faith, ministers and spiritual advisors who guide our hearts and souls, and loving family and friends who keep our spirits high and full of hope.  I’ve read the works of one woman who describes this cast of characters as “Earth Angels” – gifts from God that appear to us through fellow humans, especially when we need them the most.  I for one have been incredibly blessed by countless Earth Angels and will be forever grateful to them, and to God for sending them my way. 

I am definitely not an expert theologian.  But a few lessons I have learned along this journey:
·      Life is full of surprises - some good, some not so good. But each unexpected event that comes our way is actually a divine opportunity.
·      God does not will us with tragic life situations.  Instead, this is a part of life.  It is God’s Will for us to understand the intersection of faith and life, and then use challenging life circumstances as a way to seek His help and deepen our faith.
·      God’s greatest present to us is His presence.  The greatest gift we can give to ourselves is to listen and be still long enough so that we know what to do with it. 
·      God promises to help us through troubled times, but we must open our minds to ALL of the opportunities that come before us. 


Today I learned that a dear friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  And tomorrow another friend will visit doctors at the Mayo Clinic seeking their medical expertise for his own rare form of cancer.  Is this an epidemic?  Tonight and tomorrow I will pray that both of my friends will soon find their own ship to get to the other side.  And I will continue to pray that one day there will be a cure for this terrible disease we call cancer.   

1 comment:

  1. I heard the same joke when I was getting hooked up to a monitoring device two years ago. I love the joke...

    As for praying for cures,we can only live one day at a time,one moment at a time.That is all we can hope for.(In the medical uncertainty department,I can honestly admit that I've been there,done that,with family,as well as personally.)


Web Statistics