I like the idea that I conjure up in my head of what it's like to boat - the freedom, the wide open space, the adventure.... All of that sounds appealing to me. Truth be told however, haven't always thought I'd like to boat.
I grew up in the mid-west. Mid-westeners don't boat. I don't know what we do that takes the place of the past-time of boating, but not having bodies of water nearby pretty much makes boating for recreation near impossible.
Boating and accessibility to water is much easier and more common on the east coast. I have friends that boat, that grew up going to the beach, and that steam crabs. I have one friend in particular that loves to boat (although he doesn't do it as often as he'd like) and his generous sharing of his love of the water is intoxicating.
Because of this I see boats differently now.
I want to know more about boats now.
I pay more attention to boats now.
A few years ago I would've passed by a boat raised up out of the water in a dock and not given it a second thought.... A few years ago I didn't know there was such a thing as 'dry docking'.
Now I do.
And I'm a little jealous of boats.
Ok. Ok. That sounds ridiculous.
But in my metaphorical mind a boat has it ALL. Adventure and rest. Open waters and dry docks.
I should maybe explain a little better, just in case you, like me, aren't aware of what dry docking is. When a boat is dry docked it is floated into a vessel-like platform. The platform is drained of water and the boat is allowed to rest in the dock - it's weight supported - while it is repaired and cared for.
I don't know about you, but my life has been hectic lately... much adventure, many seas to sail, multiple places to visit...but not a whole lot of dry docking. Not a whole lot of rest. I was recently speaking with a dear friend and we were both talking about how our lives were seemingly whirlpools of activity. And I said to her, "Too bad we don't get the luxury of dry docking...".
The words surprised me. Not only do I not typically think in 'nautical language,' but it's not often that I'll admit out loud that some rest and some care and a chance to not sail the open seas sounds appealing. I've been longing recently for a chance to just stop.
If the boat gets to have it's engine cared for, it's body repaired, it's haul brightened, it's underneath supported, the I imagine dry docking a person to be similar. Care for the heart, strength for the body, rest for the soul, and support for the whole being...
I'd sail a few ocean lengths for that.
Sometimes I over-theologize Jesus - wondering what he was thinking, what he meant by this phrase or that, and curious about where this whole ship known as the church is going. Sometimes I want the ship to just go....
But as I said to my friend how appealing a dry dock is to me, I realized that maybe sometimes the church can and should dry dock. Take some time to regain it's strength; give the crew some time to catch their breath.
I'll be the first to admit I'm a terrible dry docker. See, as I thought about this, I realized that I am given chances to dry dock, I just don't take them. Maybe I'm afraid of what might go on without me, maybe I'm afraid of sitting idle, maybe I'm afraid to let someone care for me.
All of which I think is true.
It takes courage to take a boat off the waters for a time being...
Now, I'm not taking myself off the waters.. that's just crazy talk (ie - I have three children to love, a full-time job, amazing friends and family to visit, carpool, groceries, bills...) Oh, you get the picture. You have them too. I can't truly just do nothing...
But I can savor the moments when I could just sit....
So, I'm keeping an eye out for the next chance to dry dock and maybe let the world pass me by for a bit of time.