Some biblical scholars have concluded that Noah may have worked on building the ark for as many as 150 years. Can you imagine? Every day, waking up, grabbing the same hammer and pegs and going about driving them into the side of that vessel – for 150 years – waiting for the rain, and not seeing a cloud in the sky.
It is a testimony of a man’s faith, resolve, perhaps even stubbornness, not to quit. I have to wonder what the early days of that project must have been like for Noah. The enormous size of the task must have been almost overwhelming. Did he ever throw down his tools in frustration? Did the animals drive him nuts? Did he ever want to quit? My hunch is yes to all those questions. I know I would have.
The great struggle of our culture is the inability to wait, to persevere, to accept our reward is far into the future and never tire of straining toward it. We want what we want now – a fastpass to our dreams. There are very few Noahs in our world today. I am certainly not one.
While sitting each morning here at the resort where we are staying for our vacation, I have watched a young lady jogging the perimeter walkway. She appears to be in her twenties and her jogging pace tells me she just started running in the past few days. Overweight and heavy-legged, she struggles to complete one full circle. I have watched her face twist in a painful grimace as she struggles to complete her second lap. By lap three she is walking and struggling to breathe. She has a long way to go. But, every morning this week she has been out here – running, trying, hurting. I think about how each morning she rises from her bed, slips on her jogging atire, and quietly makes her way to the jogging path knowing how painful the experience will be. Yet, I see her everyday. Other more capable runners fly around her with little effort, lapping her and I wonder if she is discouraged seeing “Miss Fit-body” in the bright spandex flexing past. But, for some reason, she keeps going. God bless her!
There is a dream way out in the future for this chubby girl who runs here every morning. She wants something and seems determined to get it. I hope she does. I hope she keeps running when she gets home and never gives up. For some strange reason I want that for her, someone I don’t even know.
But, maybe I do know her. Maybe she is me. I see her struggles and I see my own. I know what it feels like to get lapped by people. I know how hard it is to keep going when the pain is overwhelming. I know what it is like to fail. And that is why I want her to keep running – to keep driving the pegs into those holes until God delivers His promise – whenever that will be. Please, chubby girl I see each morning, don’t stop! Please don’t stop!
Your reward is waiting!