A Cement Boat
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Recently my grandson Cody was tasked with a science project to design and build a boat made out of cement. The boat couldn’t just be designed out of cement, it had to float. We discussed some of the design possibilities. I have a scientific background and understand that anything can float as long as the weight of the water it displaces is greater than the weight of the object. For example the aircraft carrier, Nimitz, displaces about 100,000 tons of water. So if a steel ship can float, then it just makes sense that a boat made of cement should float as well.
We agreed that Ships are designed to float and ride out the most severe storm. The waves may be raging and the winds howling, but as long as the water can be kept out, the ship will remain afloat.
My grandson was not daunted by the experiment, instead he welcomed the opportunity. Later I started thinking how his science project applied to the life of a Christian. When a person becomes a Christian things change. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth told them that when they became followers of Christ they were; “…a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). In the next chapter Paul taught them to; “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17). So the instruction from the Apostle Paul is that when we become Christians, we are a new creation, a new “ship” so-to-speak. But Paul also made the point that they were to separate themselves and not have anything to do with the ways of the world. The bible speaks of the “world” as being opposite of God and must be separate from the Christian just as the ship and the water must be separate if the ship is to remain float.
Just as a ship taking on water will eventually sink, a Christian who takes in the world will eventually become useless to God. The guiding principle of buoyancy is what keeps a ship afloat. The guiding principles of the bible will keep the Christian afloat. Both the ship and the Christian share the same problem of keeping out the wrong elements; water out of the ship, and the world out of the spiritual life of a Christian. The daily storms of the world will bombard the Christian on the seas of life. To keep a Christian afloat, they must be filled with the Holy Spirit of God rather than the world. The immoral, unspiritual or wrong decisions will allow the world to break through the “hull” and replace the Holy Spirit with worldly pleasures.
The Gospel of John discusses these life decisions; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:15-16).
The problem, as I see it, isn’t the quality of Christians in the world; as much as it is the quantity of the world in the Christian. Those things in your life that take your focus off of Jesus, or compromises your daily walk or morality must be removed just like water is pumped overboard from the bilges of a ship.
So for the Christian each decision in our lives comes down to; “To float or not to float. That is the question.”