Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

August 8, 2017

Let us see now, what do we need to throw away today?

            Several months ago, I was reading a book about how Captain James Cook discovered Australia; and, parts of this story made me chuckle. The truth is that the Dutch first discovered the Land Down Under in 1606 and Cook then mapped it in 1770.

But, while the Dutch and James Cook were busy discovering Australia, I wonder if the Aboriginals just sat quietly on some rocks eating artichokes and just watched as they were being discovered. They probably never even knew they were lost!

Anyhow moving right along, Cook had his hands full mapping the continent! Since no one had apparently mapped the continent before, there was nobody to warn Cook about the Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is a shelf of magnificent coral that stretches  twelve-hundred miles along the coast of Australia. But, it is as jagged as it is beautiful; and, coral reefs and wooden ships do not mix.

The ship named Endeavor found itself caught up on the reef and the wind and the surf began to make chutney out of it. But, some quick-thinking, resourceful sailors came to the rescue just in time as the ship began to sink.

The crew began tossing everything they could get their hands on overboard in order to lighten the ship and save it from a watery graveyard. They first grabbed ballasts which are lead weights that are shaped like hockey pucks; and, they tossed them overboard with reckless abandon.

Next, they tossed over tools, barrels of olives, bags of grain and then with remorse, the cannons went overboard as well. Eventually, their ship became light enough to safely float over the reef and continue to sail.

I can only imagine the value of the items that the sailors threw away in order to save the ship. But, they had huge incentive!

If you are about to die, nothing on the ship has any value.  By saving the ship, they saved themselves as well.

So, this story made me wonder, if we were sinking what would we toss overboard? Are you drowning today in some way?

Are there things you can throw away that could lighten your load enough to get sailing again?  If you are dying, do the things tossed have any value?

A verse from Ecclesiastes has come to mind:

“To everything there is a season a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT).”

Has the season passed for some things in your life? Is it time to have an attic sale?

Maybe today is a good day to begin tossing out some nouns (persons, places or things).   Have you ever considered that the greater problems of life may come when we get stuck in some rut or mindset and cannot seem to find the strength to get back on our feet?

Life sure enough places some difficult paths in front of us from time to time. Even so, difficult or not, it is God’s will for the paths to continue; and, it is not God’s vision for us to stay waylaid.

Interestingly, the place that Cook’s ship got hung up is now called Cape Tribulation.   The solution for their tribulation was to lighten their load.

So, again I ask, what do we need to throw away today? Maybe today is a good day to trade some nouns for the joy of the Lord.

I’m trading my sorrows.
I’m trading my shame.
I’m layin’ them down for the joy of the Lord.

I’m trading my sickness.
I’m trading my pain.
I’m layin’ it down for the joy of the Lord.

(Trading My Sorrows/Freedom Album, Darrell Evans, 1998.)



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