Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
There’s a story of a shipwrecked sailor who had been alone on a deserted island for several years. One day he spied a ship on the horizon. He built a bonfire to catch the crew’s attention. Soon, a crewman arrived in a small rescue boat, carrying an armful of newspapers. “Read these,” he said to the sailor, “and decide whether or not you want to be rescued!”
We certainly live in a challenging period of time, but we cannot really live on a deserted island if we want to be spiritually healthy. This reminds me of another old story about three friends, none of whom could swim, who were in a boat. In the middle of the lake one of them took out a tool and began drilling a hole in the bottom of the boat. The other two shouted, “What are you doing?”
“Mind your own business,” said the one with the drill. “I’m drilling this hole at my seat only. It has nothing to do with you.” The other two men shouted the obvious: “But we’re all in the same boat!”
I think this is a true and valuable statement, “We’re all in the same boat.” Isn’t it true that our boat is this wonderful earth God has given us to live on! What we do here makes a difference. Our decisions DO make a difference to others. What we do can be good or bad for everyone else! It’s not spiritually healthy to hide on a deserted island and mind our own business, no matter how bad the world seems to be at any given moment.
God is calling us to make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of other people. Consider a Bible passage, Galatians 5:13-16. “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”