Leaky Boats

leaky1Several years ago, the Teacher’s quorum from our Orem ward decided to go to Strawberry Reservoir for an overnight fishing trip. This event was planned well.

They had two expert fishermen as part of the adult leadership.

They had adult leaders who were familiar with the area.

They had all the supplies necessary to keep a group of 8 boys and 6 leaders warm, dry, and well fed.

They contacted the harbor at Strawberry months ahead of time to reserve the boats.

This was going to be a great activity.

After setting up camp, the excited group was ready for their first fishing experience. It was to take place as the sunset upon the western shore of the reservoir.

The water was smooth and the fish were hungry.

The group donned their life vests, loaded the boats with their fishing gear, and, to avoid spooking the fish, they all remained as quiet as possible – not an easy task.

leaky2As they got further from the shore, they all noticed that each of their boats had a variety of leaks. They were all taking on significant amounts of water.

Now the fishing trip was transformed into a bailing exercise. They quickly turned the boats towards the shore rowing and bailing as fast as possible to get to land before the boats sank.

Those boats with a crew willing to devote full time to bailing made it back to shore quite easily.

Those boats with a frightened crew that abandoned ship sunk.

leaky3No one was hurt. But this image of these leaky boats has stayed riveted in my mind as a powerful analogy for life.

In my All We Like Sheep post, I commented that looking at this familiar story differently can change how we look at mortality. We are all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of God.

Now I offer my leaky boat analogy to build on this foundation.

I believe mortality is an ocean where each of us is purposely given a leaky boat.

Our task is to navigate these waters without sinking.

At times, we can stay afloat by bailing out our own boat.

At times, we need the help of others to keep our boat from sinking.

At times, we can help others bail their boats even while ours is still taking on water

leaky4The constant of this analogy is that we all need help from a community of fellow-bailers to get through life. None of us can go it alone.

The real tragedy comes when some isolate themselves from the community. They are either unaware that help is so readily available or are too proud to ask for help.

We all have leaky boats. It is so much easier to work together to keep a boat afloat than it is to rescue a boat that has needlessly sunk.

God has purposely placed us on this ocean in leaky boats to teach us to work together to keep us all afloat.

We all need each other.

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