The Lost Sail Boat

The Lost Sail Boat

Harry received a set of tools from his father as a birthday gift. Harry was very fond of making things with his hands and these new tools were just what he needed. Now that he had the tools, he had to have a bench on which to work. So the construction of a good strong work bench was his first project. After school and on Saturdays he worked hard, and finally the bench was completed. Then on the wall he provided places for each tool. Each had its own special place. He admired his bench and most of all the shining new tools.

For a long time Harry had wanted to make a toy sail boat to sail on the water of a nearby lake. At last he had the right tools with which to work. The kind of boat he intended to build was two and a half feet long. After he had started to build it, he realized that it was a much bigger and harder job than he thought. The wood had to be cut carefully and all the joints fitted very closely. It would take all his spare time during the long winter to complete the boat. His aim was to have it ready by spring when the ice was off the lake. Finally when the boat was completed Harry's teacher asked him to exhibit it in school. Proudly he carried it to school. Here was something he had made with his own hands. In school it stood in a place of honor for several weeks. The masts, sails and everything built to true proportions made it look like a full-fledged sailing vessel.

Then one day after school Harry took it to the lake to see what it would do on water. The breeze filled the sails and before he was aware of it, the boat was beyond his reach and heading toward deeper water. There was no row boat there in which he might have gone out to retrieve it. Frantically he waded out into the water with all his clothes on, but it was no use. All he could do was to watch it sail further and further out on the lake until at last it was completely out of sight.

With his clothes soaked and tears in his eyes, he arrived home just before dark. He told his father and mother the sad tale of the lost boat. Between sobs he said, "It was such a beautiful boat; everyone in school thought so; and I made it with my own hands." Harry's heart ached to think that something he had made was drifting further and further out on a deep, deep lake into the mysterious darkness of the night.

Days and weeks passed, still Harry continued to feel the loss of his boat. Summer vacation had come and gone, and school days were back again. Then one day Harry walked past a store that bought and sold a great variety of things. He stopped to look at the articles on display in the window. There was a hammer, a lantern, a saddle, a knife, a clock, a vase, a picture, and there on the right side, there—could Harry be seeing right,—there, there was his boat. Harry could have recognized that boat anywhere. He rushed into the store, he said, "You have my boat in your window." "Your boat!" said the astonished proprietor. "What do you mean? I bought it from someone." Harry's heart sank, and he did not know what to say next, but finally asked, "Well, how much do you want for it?" The man told him the price. It was so much that Harry could hardly believe it. Then he hurried home, opened his bank and counted it to the last penny. It was not quite enough. His father advanced him his weekly allowance. He hurried back to the store, laid the money on the counter and said, that is my boat, I made it, I lost it, and now I am buying it."

Carefully he lifted it into his arms and held it close to him. Then as fast as his legs could carry him, he hurried home. Rushing into the house, he shouted, `My boat, my boat, I made it, I lost it, and I bought it!"

What happened to Harry's boat is exactly what happened to man. Harry made that boat, and God made man. The boat drifted out on the lake into the dark night further and further away from Harry. After God had made man, man drifted further and further away from God until he was lost just as the boat was lost. Man carelessly went further into the darkness of sin and evil, and God grieved over lost man as Harry grieved over his lost boat. What was God to do? God did what Harry did. Harry bought back his lost boat. God bought us back. The apostle Paul said, "Ye are bought with a price." God paid a very high price to get man back. The price was nothing less than Jesus Christ; He gave His life a ransom for us. Just as Harry made the boat, lost it, and bought it, so God lost man, and God bought man back again. Harry felt badly about his lost boat; how much worse must God feel about us when we get lost from Him.

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