Sunday, December 11, 2011

Waiting for His Boat

                             image by Mostafa Habibi

He waited all his life for such a boat...
A simple boat--two oars, no more...
To take him places where he'd never been.

At last, at last, his boat came in,
But he was old and gray and bound
By all the things that now had been.

And so he saw the boat and sighed
And looked around and blinked back tears
And grieved for all that might have been.

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
--Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 ESV

Note: Ecclesiastes is the book of the Bible that deals with life "under the sun." It tells of the futility of the best things this world has to offer.

For other people's thoughts prompted by the same image, click here.


Brian Miller said...

dang i dont ever want to be that man...nice capture man....

chiccoreal said...

Dear Jim: Love the biblical reference; very heartfelt.

"and blinked back tears"


Helen said...

Jim, this is one of my favorite 'Swindle' pieces ....

dfish said...

How many people find themselves in that very state, stuck in the mud and not enjoying what God has for them though it is so close.

liv2write2day said...

This is chilling...the words and the image. We must take hold of the gifts of each moment.

Martin said...

Ah, those lost opportunities.

Unknown said...

I like the way you pulled Ecclesiastes in and made this a valuable lesson

Tess Kincaid said...

We must always embrace our boats...

Carrie Burtt said...

So much beautiful truth in this always! :-)

Jim Swindle said...

Brian Miller, thanks, my friend.
chiccoreal, I'm really glad it spoke to you.
Helen, it may be one of my favorites, also.
dfish, yes...and my own fear often holds me back.
liv2write2day, thanks.
Martin, thanks for stopping by.
Unknown, anything good in me or in my writing is by the Lord's grace.
Tess Kincaid, thanks for finding the photo and giving the opportunity to write.
Carrie Burtt, thanks for the encouragement.

Ann Grenier said...

Simple, heartfelt and true, Jim. Love your response and the quote from Ecclesiastes.

Jim Swindle said...

Ann Grenier, thanks. In this life, we have grief over what might have been.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

This is an excellent poem in every way, and the graphic you chose visualizes its theme so well.

I know people of whom this poem is true, but I have thought as hard as I could, I can't ever remember having felt this way, or had these thoughts myself.

Perhaps the Lord in His mercy has just shielded me from the worst in myself, but I can't remember feeling guilty about anything or regretting the past.

In everything He has been my constant covering, forgiving my offenses immediately and keeping me focused on what lies ahead.

My whole life has been different from what I expected, both good and bad, but I think I must have given up ownership of it long ago.

If I depart tomorrow, I am content, if I remain, the same.

It seems I have never waited for my boat to come in. It seems I have always been on board.

Where He takes me is enough to fill more than one life, and each day seems to contain all of it.

Yes, your poem tells what can happen, and it is a pity, to anyone who somehow never heard the call that goes forth to the ears of all mankind.

Lord, free us from ourselves, that we can live in You.

Dave King said...

Life's a bitch - and then you die.

Jim Swindle said...

Romanós, as usual, your comments stretch my thinking. This particular time, I wasn't writing so much from personal experience as from what thoughts came when I looked at the image, in the Lord's presence. (No, I'm not saying he told me what to write. I'm saying that anything worth doing, including writing, is a gift from him. I've often felt lots of guilt and regret, but have never spent much time looking for "my ship to come in."
Dave King, life's terrible only if you are looking at it from this world's viewpoint, apart from the Lord's presence and promises.