RevHRod blogged about 4th of July memories via Friday at Five.
Last night's memory takes the cake.
I was with friends, enjoying a super 4th of July celebration at a lovely lake-side home.
Hot grill, cold beer.
The neighbors were setting off their own contraband fireworks but the real show was slated for dark, at the other end of the lake, viewed from my friend's boat, as always.
We decided (against all weather predictions and dark skies) to get in the party boat (aluminum) and go out into the middle of the lake (with all the other idiots) to watch the fireworks.
All was going well; the usual ooohs and ahhhs and of course the "kinda big finish".
But the “Grand Finale” happened 2 minutes after we had turned to head for home.
That’s when God's lightning show started. Bolts and thunder came out of nowhere and 'dern' close!
Imagine then about 250 boats scrambling at 'lightning speed' (but um…safely) in the dark, with nothing but tiny running lights, to get home, “in -between the raindrops”. It was like watching modern day whalers scrambling in search of Moby Dick (with Jaws music playing in the background).
The bolder the lightning, the more the kids shrilled; the harder I prayed--not just for our boat, but all the boats and their cargo.
Then the real rain came with vines of light like you see on “Storm Chasers”. We hugged the land and I prayed harder and faster.
Then the winds started to whip up.
The lake became Gennasaret, but Jesus was NOT asleep in the back.
"Don't you even CARE that we did this foolish thing that we need saving from now?"
More lightning, louder thunder, higher kiddie shrills, faster prayers...
As we approached the dock, the lake was now a sea of waves. Getting there was one thing- docking in these waves, another.
When we were close enough for me to leap onto the dock and grab a line, our passengers jumped off the boat, titanic-like and scrambled for land and cover, while 3 of us stayed to secure and cover the vessel.
Oddly, standing on a wood dock in torrents of wind and rain, securing a canvas cover was a menial task after worrying and praying mightily for 20 minutes for the safety of 1000 or so boaters.
Snap-Snap-Snap. We're outta here!
For a bunch of well educated, usually-very-responsible people, it wasn’t the smartest thing we’ve ever done...but a story to tell the grandchildren or at least work into the Romans text this Sunday. I know what I should do (stay on land in safety), though I do the very thing I hate (go for the fun and worry about the consequences later).
There IS a wideness in God’s mercy…