Sunday, August 22, 2010

I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat...


If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat on the bottom. I never could float on this perfect sea, I was never sturdy enough to stay atop the waves for even a moment. From the time I have existed there was no other possibility for me but to sink under the weight of the water with my countless holes and gashes. There was never time for any water to be scooped out before sinking, my structural devastation was just too far reaching and catastrophic. The speed and immediacy of the engulfing water never gave opportunity to devise a plan for escape. In my condition, self-rescue from the crashing, crushing weight of sea was impossible. If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat on the bottom. Now as I rest on the bottom of the sea my decay only hastens. Sea worms eat my hull and eels slide through my many holes making them bigger. My wood is waterlogged and infested with weeds and bugs that make me weaker by the day. If you put a hand on me you'd probably break me and get a muddy, mossy, useless fistful of soggy timber. I'm really no good to anyone in this state, and the weight of the water seems heavier each day-my strength only decreases. There is no possible way of fixing myself and no man would have any chance at making me sea worthy- I am beyond any person's genius or expert repair, I only await my total disintegration. If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat on the bottom. Laying, rotting, falling apart, there is time to contemplate the impossible weight above and around me. I can't complain against the sea because I have no right, it is only doing what it should whereas I have never done likewise. I have only failed. Honesty forces me to admit I have never been worthy of this sea. Now my state only grows worse as my structure erodes and degrades. If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat on the bottom. I could protest my state, but what would I say? "It's not fair that I am hole ridden and unable to ride on the sea?" Is the sea to blame for my incapacity? Is the sea at fault because my breaches allowed it to come in, sink me, and continue to crush me? Is the sea culpable for my failure to maintain integrity? I can certainly claim the sea has victimized me, but I know it is not true. The problem is me, not the sea. Now my predicament grows worse by the day. If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat on the bottom. How can I be salvaged? I am unsalvageable. I am beyond help. I can never float. So long as I remain as I am, I will eventually turn to watery, spongey, mud. Something from without must make me float because nothing from within is able.

Something has stirred the sea above, I feel it churning. The whole of the ocean is moving now, the storm on top must be fierce. I can see the bottom of another boat floating above me. It is getting pummeled and thrashed by the sea. If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat on the bottom. But the storm that is attacking above is starting to move me from my sandy grave. For some reason I am not breaking up, I am almost floating in the unspeakably violent undercurrent. The boat above is being punished by the storm of this sea. But I am floating upward somehow closer to the other boat, the one that is being pounded. How that boat remains afloat on this relentless, angry, sea, is beyond me. What has happened now? The waves have churned me up and over and out! I find myself on the top of a wave and set down inside the other boat! Suddenly the sea stops frothing and shifting, a calm comes over it. I am now resting in the other boat. The sun begins to dry my wood, but I am safe now, no matter what. I am in a sure, steady, and sea worthy boat that has taken the wrath of the sea. This strong and able boat has rescued me. If the sea represents the righteous, just, and holy standard of God, I am a hole-riddled, wooden boat that could not take the wrath of the sea and so I sunk. The second boat could and did take the wrath of the sea and then saved me. The second boat represents Christ, who keeps me safe now, for I am now in Him.

6 comments:

Malcolm said...

Enjoyed it this morning. I think of myself as more that hole riddled. I think of a boat that has had an anchor dropped through its hull.

pjw said...

I was hoping you would post this on your blog, Tony. Thanks!

Woody Woodward said...

Humble Pastor, I have a dear brother who is not living the life he has been called to live. I love him dearly and regardless of what he has done, my love for him will never wavier. When you read your powerful, heart-wrenching poem on Lord's Day worship, I thought to myself, “speaking the WORD in truth and in LOVE, I am going to send this to my friend of over 30 years! What a vivid reminder of the fact, that all of us have sinned! None of us are worthy to be “raised up, restored, and rescued, to be found in Christ!” (Philippians 3:9-12) Without Christ, all of us will rot and decay, remaining useless to the Lord and to our families. Without Christ, all of us will sink to the bottom of the sea of hopeless sin! O wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be unto God, who gives us the victory in Christ Jesus!” (Romans 7:24-25)

mobugz said...

"And you were DEAD in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved.."! Ephesians 2:1-5

Jim said...

I don't really see how the metaphor of being a "hole-riddled, long sunk wooden boat" is somehow supposed to be more perspicacious than any of the many Scripture passages directly teaching total depravity.

malcolm said...

Jim, knowing Pastor Tony quite well I am confidant that he would never ever put any thing he wrote above scripture. Tony introduced this to the congregants as poetry.