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EVERYONE MUST ROW WITH THE OARS THEY HAVE

By the late Pastor Bob Moody

Years ago, I went fishing with some friends. The one fellow had a nice boat. It was a wooden boat sixteen or eighteen foot long, outfitted with a motor and all the stuff you need to have an enjoyable afternoon on the lake. We were ready to come in when we found the engine no longer worked. It wasn’t but a half mile to the dock, so I asked for the oars.

Come to find out, there were no oars (plural); there was an oar (singular). I sat on the bow of the boat paddling that boat like a giant canoe. Obviously, it took a while to get back to shore. But one rows with the oar one has.

Later that day one of my friends wanted to go back out fishing. He had secured a small aluminum fishing boat with an electric motor and fully charged battery. No problem! Out we went. We had a good time, but when it was time to go in, a rather stiff breeze came up which soon turned into a steady wind. No problem! The electric motor couldn’t push us into the wind. No problem! This time I had checked. We had a good set of of oars with oarlocks. I settled down to row back in.

By then the wind was blowing so hard I was loosing almost as much ground as I was gaining. We ended up staying close to shore where a very tough type of weed was growing. As I rowed, my friend would grab the reeds and pull the boat along. We made it well after dark. Not a very good day, but one rows with the oars one has (and sometimes with a little extra help).

In this journey of faith, each of us has been given certain “oars,” such as talents, gifts, abilities education, background, etc. None of us has exactly the same oars as the next guy. But we row with what we have. Sometimes it seems it is easier for the other guy. They seem to go through life with an abundance of faith and with a 10 horse-power inboard engine.

Some of us do our best only to find our best isn’t good enough. We need a guy in the front of the boat pulling us through the reeds. Don’t sweat it. It could be worse. You could be adrift with no hope at all!

We who are Christians have something no one else in the world does. We have a God who is with us no matter what the situation. Jesus is not the kind of Savior who sits somewhere waiting for you to figure it out. He’s right there with you. Don’t forget it! Be grateful for what He has done, is doing, and will do. Keep rowing.

God, help me to remember that You’re in the boat with me and we won’t sink. That’s enough.

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Kurt J. Kolka grew up in the small community of Grayling, Mich., near the forested AuSable River. After majoring in English at college, he began a career in writing and newspapers spanning more than two decades. In his spare time he creates a Christian comic strip, The Cardinal, which has a 28-year history of publication. He has also authored a book, “Bullying is No Laughing Matter” (Front Edge Publications, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2014) and is working on his first novel. Kurt and his wife Diane have been married for more than 25 years and have one daughter, Rebekah, and an overprotective dog, Alli. Of life, Kurt says, “Life is never dull with God at the steering wheel, but, man, does He have a lead foot!” More about Kurt and his musings may be found at www.betweenthepines.org.

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