I believe Dad was 55 years of age when I first realized he was "getting old." Dad was athletic and very quick. I was standing on the sidelines watching him as he played softball with a group of teenagers.
One needs to understand that in his teen years baseball was his passion and he even dared to dream of a career in the sport. His reflexes were amazingly fast, and he also considered professional boxing. Now here he is on an August afternoon exercising his skills on the ball field. Dad came up to bat. He let the first pitch pass, and the umpire called, "Strike one." My father shifted his position slightly in the batter's box and when the second pitch came he swung, made contact and laid the ball neatly in left field between the third baseman and the fielder.
Dad headed for first base. As I watched I realized his step was slower than I remembered it to be, and with a sinking feeling I realized that Dad was old! Not so old, however, that he failed to beat the throw to the bag.
I am now some twenty-seven years older than my father was when I realized he was old, yet until today I had never encountered that realization in myself. Oh, yes, I have aches and pains, and yes, I know I move slower than I used to, but old? Of course not.
But today I stopped near the front door of the DG store, dismounted the bicycle and set the kickstand.
I saw a sporty red car park on the opposite side of the lot. I headed toward the door of the market, shuffling along in my Tim Conway "old man" gait and before I reached the door the young lady who had parked the car hurried around me to "get the door." Yep. With extended arm she opened the door stepped back and with a smile indicated that I should pass through. A young woman holding the door for the poor old man.
16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake,17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.19 When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened.20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.
Last week's lesson was from the sixth chapter of John. We looked at the account of what has become known as "The multiplication of the loaves and fishes," or "The feeding of the five thousand." Reading a few more verses we come to a no less miraculous action of Jesus, but one that is seldom discussed. I call it "The teleportation of the ship and crew."
As I was growing up with Wes as my best friend, I often heard his mother who was an avid Bible scholar and a teacher in a Bible college speak of travel by teleportation in the Heavenly Kingdom. It seemed to me that her opinion was that in Heaven one will merely think the thought and arrive at the destination he or she desires. I have often thought this was a neat concept.
But as many times as I have read the Gospel of John it was only this week that it struck me that there is scriptural support for the concept. And you may take your ship with you. Certainly we are aware of the many instances in scripture of a celestial being appearing on Earth: Lot's visitors; the emissary to Abraham; the angel who wrestled with Jacob; the fourth person in the fiery furnace; Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration; Gabriel's visit to Zechariah; the angel to Mary; and other instances.
Now in this account we see earthly inhabitants and material objects* being teleported, for the scripture says that as Jesus came to the disciples across the water that as soon as they took him into the boat they arrived at their destination! They had been rowing against a stormy sea for "twenty-five or thirty furlongs," Jesus stepped into the boat and boom! they were in their home port.
Transported through the space-time continuum by the grace and power of God!
Certainly no matter the state or the storm we find ourselves in we can be transported into peace and security by the power and grace of The God who Loves us!
Do note, though, that the account tells us that the boatsmen took Jesus into the ship. Just so we must take Christ into our lives. God will not force his will upon us; we must accept Him and yield our will to His.
*Other instances in the Bible in which God used teleportation may be found in Acts 8:38-40 where Philip baptized a eunuch, disappeared and reappeared many miles away; in Luke 24 Jesus vanishes and appears; and other examples.
In the early days of the automobile a Frenchman, Louis Rigolly, was the first person to surpass 100 mph on land. Measured speed was 103.56 mph. This took place in Ostend, Belgium, July 21, 1904. The car was said to have a 15 liter (915 cubic inch) Gobron-Brillie opposed engine. GB was a French auto manufacturer which built and sold cars from1898 to 1930 when the company filed for bankruptcy.
In John chapter six we read that Jesus and his disciples went over the Sea of Galilee up into a mountain. There they sat on the ground and a great multitude followed them. Jesus looked about and asked Philip where they might buy bread that the people should eat. Phil replied that a year's wages
would not feed this crowd.
Andy spoke up and said, "There is a kid here who has five barley loaves and two small fish."
Jesus ordered the disciples to make the men be seated. Then he took the provender from the boy and gave thanks. He passed it to the disciples and they distributed it to the crowd "as much as they would."
Here Jesus is modeling appropriate behavior for us in that he neglected not to give thanks. "When they were filled he said unto his disciples, Gather in the fragments that remain that nothing be lost."
Here again Jesus is the example. His words were not exactly "Waste not, want not," but that is exactly what he is showing us. Of significance, too, I think, is that in the collecting of the morsels they wound up with exactly twelve basketsful. Of course they did: twelve disciples present, no slackers today Each one collected his basketful.
I also think this is worth pondering: How is it that there was exactly enough leftovers to fill twelve baskets, neither more no less?
What this means: This is a very nice computer and it cost me a lot of money. It doesn't know what I want it to do, and I don't know how to "teach" it to respond to my needs.
Don't suggest lessons. I sat with a geek-type while he poked keys, swiped spaces, opened this that and the other (which proves it is all there) but can I replicate any of his efforts? No. Well, yes. He showed me where the "ON" switch is located.
Am I frustrated after three hours sitting here? Maybe.