There is a lot to talk about on our walk today. It is five-fifteen in the evening, the sky is cloudy, and a storm is predicted for tomorrow. Dale’s commute to Franklin Pierce College is a little over an hour, and so I hope that the weather tomorrow will not be severe. New Hampshire’s roads in winter are kept very open and sanded, but nothing is more dangerous than an icy road. She is always in my prayers and sure will be in the morning if it is snowing or raining.
We travelled to Massachusetts yesterday and saw first-hand that there was no snow on the ground. We still have snow in Hopkinton, and so we have true winter scenery. I love to drive a road here called Old Stagecoach Road. It is a dirt road the climbs a hill or goes down a hill, depending upon your direction. The woods are deep on either side, and there are only a few houses. There is a small stream near the end of the road and then an old colonial home that is just beautiful. It has an old-fashioned lantern in front of the doorway that seems to cry out, “ This is picturesque New England”. I cannot drive that road without thinking of Robert Frost’s poem The Road Less Taken. Not many people drive that road, so it is a road less taken but one that causes your heart to rejoice at God’s creation.
Thinking of one’s heart, Friday is Valentine’s Day. Last week I was asked to give the children’s sermon at First Church of Hopkinton, and I spoke of Valentine’s day when I was a boy in elementary school. Back then you gave everyone in your class, both boys and girls, a valentine. Telling two stories about my mom I asked the children and adults to please remember their mom, or someone in their life like a mom, with a valentine. I told them I was regretful that I had not sent one to my mom every year. One woman left telling me that there were three people in her life who were like a mother to her and that she had sent them a valentine already. Now if you do not read this walk before Valentine’s day is over, it is never too late to send a thinking of you card or a Valentine even if you make one yourself. Last weekend, a woman leaving church told me that she had made her valentines. Even an adult can do that – it is ok.
On another subject…. I told you there was a lot to talk about – our son Ken is building a wooden sailboat. Now this is not a small project. The boat is to be about forty feet long and is being constructed in a warehouse in Bristol, Rhode Island. It is a very special project for not many wooden sailboats, certainly of that size, are being constructed today. Also, the boat is being built as boats were built years ago, yet some modern materials are being used as a part of it.
I am amazed by his project for when building a boat, a level is pretty useless. Most of the measurements are figured by a series of points. Now, as most of the carpentry I have done has been with the use of a square and a level, a ship builder’s system of points to me is mind boggling. A local museum has taken an interest in his project, and several people have been assisting him and his knowledgeable boat builder named Louis. I cannot help but mention like father like son for I’ve always been into construction projects, but not one as complicated as his.
Do I look forward to sailing with him someday on his sailboat? I’ll send Dale. I have no love of boats, and I will be glad to go onboard with Ken and Vicki when the boat is tied to the dock. You can believe our granddaughter will be ready to sail. She has been sailing since she was a little child and has been a certified launch driver for many years. She has even sailed to Labrador, but that is for another walk.
Boats were a part of our Lord’s life and ministry. Several of his disciples were fishermen. Jesus often preached from a boat. There was the sermon on the mountain side where people could look up and see and hear him, but they could also hear and look upon him when his disciples rowed out a short distance from the shore on the sea of Galilee. Remember crowds of people pushed to touch him so that they might be healed. His message and voice would be lost if he could not distance himself from the multitude. A boat moored a short distance offshore gave him the ability to speak and to be heard.
Jesus was so used to being in a boat that we have the story of Him falling asleep in one, even in the midst of a storm. Remember, the disciples were frightened and awakened him to quell the storm.
Recently, I read of a Sunday School teacher of years ago who taught her children how to face a difficult time in their lives. This is what she taught her students: “ When times get rough, find a verse in the Bible with a promise, then climb in it like a little boat, and ride out the storm.”
“ The Lord is my strength and salvation, whom shall I fear?”
“I am the resurrection and the life,” saith the Lord, “ he that believeth in Me shall not perish but have life everlasting.”
“If God is for us, who can be against us?”
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril of sword? Nae, in all these things we are conquerors through Him who loved us.”
‘Therefore, I say unto you , do not worry about your life , what you will eat or drink: nor about your body, what you will put on.”
“ For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
When times are tough, climb in that small boat.
“When you pray, go into your room (your little boat) and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Next time the going gets tough – find a verse in the Bible that makes a promise and climb in it like a little boat – and YOU WILL RIDE OUT THE STORM.
Next week we may talk about a little-known poet from Maine. I found out about his poetry this last summer.
“And now may the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other. Amen.”
Remember if you wish our walk sent to you by email check that last box on the comments. If you do that you will know when the next walk is posted. Think of you who have touched my life so very often. (ken)