As You Go

A little boy built a model ship, glued all the pieces together, and worked on it for hours. It was perfect. Every detail was correct, down to tiny sailors standing on the deck. He put it in a glass case. He wouldn’t let his brother play with it in the bathtub. He was going to keep it perfect by keeping it safe.

His parents bought a real boat so they could spend the weekends sailing out on the harbor. They loved it. At first. It was a lot of work to maintain. Boat owners will tell you that the day you bought your boat was the happiest day of your life, and the day you sold it was the second happiest. At first, they used it a lot. But after a few years, things got busy and they used it less. When they finally went to spend a day sailing and found barnacles growing on the side, algae all over the decks, and a dead motor. A real boat is only kept in shape by being sailed.

The two boats worked in opposite ways. The model was preserved by being kept safe but it was of no real use. The real boat was preserved by being used. Christians are like the real boat; they are only kept in shape by going out in the world. Model Christians that are “preserved” in the end become nothing more than a novelty to be looked at, but Christians that pour themselves into discipleship will find energy, calling, passion, and love.

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