I sit very still here in my little boat. My hands are braced on the sides and my feet squarely under me. I don’t make any sudden movements. All around me people are laughing and enjoying the sunset. They point at the waves in the distance and for a minute I wonder if I should ask about a life vest but they are having too good of a time and they will laugh at my worrisome thoughts so I don’t rock the boat, I sit very still….so still I don’t notice a small trickle of water that is winding its way around my feet…..
The crowd breaks out the liquor and the laughs are louder now. Someone is balancing on a boat rail and a few others have decided to jump over and swim for a bit in their drunken stupor. I know better, but yet I sit still, a plastic smile on my face with a nod of approval when they ask me to join in. “I’m good” I say. I dare not rock the boat, not now. They will see me sitting here and come join me. There is no need to say anything. I would not want them to feel judged and I sit still as ever, so still that the trickle from an hour ago is now pooling around my feet. Numbed from the cold, my knees never even send me the signal that the water is creeping higher and higher.
I see them now, splashing around in the dark, swimming far from the boat. A few other still with me on the boat doze off now in their slumber of self absorption. I sense that I am the one who needs to warn them they are swimming too far. I need to turn on the flashlight and wave it and tell them to come on back. I feel a strange urgency to wake the others and tell them its time to head home….but I swallow hard and push my feelings down I make them sit inside me as still as I am in the boat. I refuse to rock it. I won’t be labeled a “holier than thou” by this group who are sharp with their opinions. No, instead I feel icy water creep up until its starting to make my teeth chatter. It’s swirling and lapping at me but I won’t rock this boat for anything…not even for a chance to tell them we are going down…..
It happens quickly. The sleepers waken to water gurgling all around them filling their noses and mouths and they choke and try to scream for help at me there floating an arms length from them with my life vest. Their eyes are terror filled and I try desperately to swim towards them but the ship is sinking, faster than I can save them. I watch as the bow of the ship is now upright and pointed toward the black sky. They did not have time to swim to shore and I didn’t warn them while they slept. I did not want them to feel judged so I didn’t rock the boat. I didn’t want to wear any uncomfortable titles so I didn’t rock the boat. And to be honest, I’m not sure if I could tell them the way home and they didn’t seem to interested in hearing anyways, so I didn’t rock the boat.
But that boat I didn’t want to rock? It was a ship that was sinking…….and only I survived
The Preacher Man closes his Bible. He is done with the sermon from John 8. We stand and pray, but I’m not sure of another word he spoke after he told us this…..
” That boat you don’t want to rock? It’s a sinking ship” That was a whole sermon in one statement.