Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. [Romans 12:2 (NLT)]
Many years ago, while on vacation, my husband, father-in-law and young son rented a small boat so they could go fishing. At noon, the men pulled the boat ashore and returned to our campsite for lunch. After eating, they resumed fishing in the rowboat only to discover that it was rapidly filling with water. Although they bailed as fast as possible, the water poured in faster than they could dump it out and they quickly returned to shore. While stowing their fishing gear, they discovered that Grandpa, having removed the boat’s plug when leaving it unattended at lunchtime, had forgotten to return the plug to its rightful spot in the boat’s transom. With its plug, the boat floated easily through the water; without it, water quickly seeped in and it began to sink.
At our lake house, we have an aluminum canoe that we’ve enjoyed for over thirty-five years. We leave it down at the lakefront all year and the chipmunks and mice and have found it to be a perfect winter shelter. Through the years, those squatters have managed to chew up all of the foam flotation blocks in both ends of the craft. While that doesn’t affect the canoe when upright, it definitely will if it capsizes. Without the foam in the buoyancy chambers, the ends will fill with water and the canoe will sink. Needless to say, wearing a life jacket is a requirement when using our canoe.
A boat is meant to float in the water without the water getting into the boat. Likewise, while we’re here on earth, we’ve got to live in a sinful world but the world is not supposed to live in us. My men just ended up with wet feet in their leaky boat. When the sins of the world manage to seep into our lives, however, the consequences are far worse.
A boat will sink when it fills with water and the sins of the world can take us under as well. Like the boat’s plug, God’s word can keep the world from getting into our lives and affecting us. Even through our lives may turn upside down, the presence of the Holy Spirit, like the buoyancy blocks, will keep us from sinking. And, like the life jackets, if we capsize, our faith in God can keep us afloat until we safely reach shore.