Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Lifesaving Station

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little lifesaving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost.

Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time, money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews trained. The little lifesaving station grew.

Some of the members of the station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge for those saved from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged buildings. Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely, because they used it as a sort of club. Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do the work for them.
►►      Shipwrecks still happen but                       most of the people drown.     ◄◄
About this time, a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet and half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick; the beautiful new club house was in chaos, so the Property Committee had a shower built outside where victims of shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting, there was a split in the Club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club.

Some members insisted upon lifesaving as their primary purpose.
So they left and established another lifesaving station further along the coast. Over the years, the same thing happened to the new station. It evolved into a club, and if you visit that area of seacoast you will see many exclusive clubs along the shore. Shipwrecks still happen, but most of the people drown.

I read this parable some thirty-eight years ago and still feel challenged as I recount it now. May we never forget our primary calling as a community of disciples of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NET)