By the Rev. George Bowers
There once was a small family that took their little motor boat out on the Chesapeake Bay for a fishing excursion. The day was sunny and warm and fish were biting wonderfully. After they had been out for a few hours, they were horrified to discover that their fuel had been leaking the whole time and that they would soon run out. They frantically began to pray and to devise all sorts of ways to get back to the dock, which was far out of sight. Their worry increased when they remembered the impending storm that was forecast to hit that night.
You can imagine how utterly relieved they were to see a much larger vessel heading in their direction. This was the answer to their prayers! As it approached, they could clearly see that it was, in fact, well supplied with many gas tanks. As they flashed their signals of distress, they were certain the boat would come by and get them going again. How thankful and excited they were when the big boat turned and headed directly toward them!
To their great dismay, however, the larger boat pulled close enough to observe their situation, but then sped away quickly without sharing even so much as a water bottle. In fact, it went all the way around their little boat again and again, making waves and fouling the air with exhaust.
It wasn't long until a few water skiers began gliding behind it as it sashayed nearby. Later, the big boat sat motionless several hundred yards away as those on board fished and drank to their hearts' content. The stranded family could do nothing but watch in dejected disbelief as the big boat then roared off as night approached, with its passengers waving to them from the bow. The little family prayed some more and wondered what that night would bring.
Such is the sad plight of many of our brothers and sisters in neighboring Haiti, Central America and other helpless areas around this globe. Folks are in desperate need of food and resources that we have in abundance. As they watch from a distance, they can see that their wealthy neighbors in the U.S. have more than enough to share, and they reason that we certainly would be moved to do so, only to be dismayed when that seldom happens. Meanwhile, their small vessels of life perish one by one in the big ocean of need.
As we consider God's abundant blessings to us here in our big boat, the USS America, and as we go about recreating, eating and drinking to our hearts' content, let us consider how we can reach out to the other boats with us on Life's Bay. Yes, there are some obstacles that make helping difficult and burdensome, but with all of our American ingenuity, we can certainly solve these problems and find efficient and sustainable ways to put gas in their tanks and get them going again.
Will you think and pray and work and give to help make that happen? Living in a big boat, George
George Bowers is the pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock and the author of four books, including his latest book of poetry, "Wit and Wisdom of the Woods." He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.