Yesterday I arose very early to attend the 6:30 am Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast in St. Cloud. It was most definitely worth it. Since moving to the farm, this event gives me an opportunity to see many good friends all at once. For me, it’s a reunion. God has certainly blessed me with many, many good, Christian friends. He most certainly has not left me alone.
The topic was also worth the effort. Matthew Sleeth, MD gave a discussion on Sabbath. As you know, this is a favorite topic of mine because I have a wonderful testimony to share regarding this most sacred gift of God’s. Dr. Sleeth did a wonderful job telling his. As I looked around the packed auditorium, I could see many men who I know personally who could benefit by taking the advice they heard. My prayer is that they do.
Afterwards, we had an in-depth discussion about it at work. We used Sabbath as a platform to cover a wide range of topics, all focusing on becoming more and more like Jesus. I thought about it more in the shower today.
I once did business with a man that sold stuff. Before selling the stuff I was involved with, he sold boats. Fishing boats, ski boats, you name it. He sold a lot of them. He was good at it. One of the toughest places to sell a boat, he confessed, is an outdoor/sports convention, of the type you may find at the St. Cloud Civic Center. Sure, there were lots of buyers all in one place, but there were also lots of competitors, too. Plus, the buyers were generally on an informational hunt, looking to narrow their search, so-to-say. Many others were there only to day dream. Let me rephrase that. They were only there to fantasize.
My friend was pretty clever. I’m sure he didn’t come up with this idea on his own, but he sure captured my attention telling me about it. Here’s the scenario.
Sales Guy: Like that boat?
Dude: Yup, but I can’t afford it.
Sales Guy: We have easy payment plans to suit any budget.
Dude: I know, but my wife would kill me.
Sales Guy: Understood. Talk it over with her. Is this the boat you want?
Sales Guy: Tell you what. Put down $100 today to reserve it. If your wife says no, I’ll give your money back.
Dude: Ok. Fair enough.
Friends: So, what happened?
Dude: I bought a boat.
Then starts the whole nasty process of justifying this “purchase” – first to himself, then to his wife. He’s already committed because he has been bragging to his friends. He can’t go back now. Predictably, it doesn’t go well at home. But, rather than getting his $100 back, he finances the boat. Sure, the family tries to enjoy it, but not as much as he hoped. Pretty soon, even the dude starts to wish he would have gotten a bigger motor or maybe even a smaller boat. This one just isn’t right. Also, he finds that nobody wants to use it with him, and his feelings get hurt. After all, he has so much invested in the darned thing that he HAS to use it. Often. He finds himself fishing all by himself more often than he cares. Pretty soon, he doesn’t use it. Then comes winter prep and storage. Then spring prep and still nobody wants to use the boat. Then he starts having trouble with it, and it costs a fortune to fix any little, stinkin’ problem.
Then comes the day that he decides to sell it. After all, it’s still like new, except for the tear in the seat from the kids when they were horsing around. And the cracked windshield. Otherwise, it should bring top dollar. Reality soon comes to roost when the dude finds out nobody wants to buy his boat. Oh, sure some people do, but he gets very offended at the ridiculous amount they offer. At this point, many in his shoes refuse to swallow their pride and let the boat sit and deteriorate. Others, after much groaning, take a whipping and sell it for far less than they ever imagined. Didn’t the guy at the dealership say that boats hold their value? What a liar. Of course, the dealer will gladly talk trade….
I hope I didn’t offend any of you out there, especially to those whose wives may read this and have husbands who have had this happen. The truth is, we all have situations like this. Some have boats, others have, well, you name it.
How does this pertain to Sabbath? Quite simply, the boat represents yet one more thing we “have” to have in a home that already has too much stuff and too many things going on. Oh, and not enough money to pay for any of it. All this combined and we simply do not have time to spare to take the free gift of Sabbath rest that God gives to us. That gift, that FREE gift, once a week, revitalizes and reenergizes us so that we are ready to take on six more days of toil! There is nothing like it on the face of the earth. It costs nothing and has benefits that will simply blow your mind. Yet, we would rather have the stupid boat.
My advice? Don’t buy the boat; and, if you already have, sell it. Quickly. Fire sale pricing. Get rid of that sucker as fast as you can. It’s poison to you and your family.
Now, if you AND your family enjoy your boat and get lots of use out of it, great. Keep the boat. I’m being figurative here. Unless you are going out of your way to extoll the benefits of Sabbath, my money is on that you have a boat you wish you didn’t have. Maybe you have a shed full of toys that you don’t use. Maybe you have a job that you are married to. Whatever it is, if you can’t find time to enjoy that which God commands us to partake, then you are a fool.
Yup. A fool.
I know that sounds harsh, but that’s the kind of language people need to use with me when I’m really stuck on something that is harmful.
Sunday is Sabbath for Christians. Spend THIS Sunday worshipping God, meditating on his Word, and enjoying a day with your family. Put your phones in a basket, turn off the TV, and play a board game. Get outside and go for a walk together. Throw a football outside. Enjoy your day. It IS a day that the Lord has made. In it, rejoice and be glad!
Father, thank you for Dr. Sleeth and his message on Sabbath. Thank you also for the committee for the Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast. This topic was spot on for this audience. Work in the lives of the men and women there so that they may make real, drastic, and lasting changes to their lives and make Sabbath a commandment they simply will not break. Amen.
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers