As he ran along the creek watching the boat he was having fun trying to keep up with it as it bounced in the waves and took on the currents as they came. The wind was cutting at his cheeks as his dimples had turned a cherry red as he tried to stay even with the boats stern.
Little Johnnie was five years old and he had a real love for boats, especially this one because it was his. You see, Johnnie had an affinity for boats that was greater than other enthusiasts of the same hobby. It was red and blue with a yellow stripe around the boat. Johnnie had handcrafted each piece with great love and care from picking out the right type of wood, cutting out each piece of wood and sanded each piece down so that it was nice and smooth with no ridges or rough spots that would surpass the laws of aerodynamics. After the cutting and sanding, he would paint each piece so that they would sparkle and shine as the sunlight hit it when it sailed in the water. He made sure that he used the right amount of paint so that it was not to heavy and would lay just right in the water and would go as fast in the water as its creator hoped it would and seeing it go would make him proud.
The boat was finished and was finally ready for its maiden voyage. He took it down to the creek and launched it with a hint of a push. The smile on his face went from ear to ear as he saw his boat take off from the shore and he ran along the creek at a pace he was able to keep up with it as it would speed up and as it slowed down. Sometimes it would come to a dead stop on its own or because of a rock or log that lay in its path. It sailed in the water for a way and as the wind came along and gathered in its sail the boat would flow straight and true and was ever so steadfast in the water. Little Johnnie would run along the shore and watch this as he was enjoying this adventure. A huge wind came and took up in its sail and the boat was carried along in the water so fast that as it was carried along Little Johnnie had to run at a pace that was not familiar to him. None the less, he was having fun and was able to keep his eyes on his boat as the wind was carrying it.
There was a bend up ahead in the creek that the boat was coming to but Johnnie was not worried because he knew the boat could handle it. The boat came to that point and the current was rough as it went around the bend. Johnnie could see that it was able to handle it and the current nicely but there was a little drop-off just ahead. Now he lost sight of the boat and became concerned. As he approached the spot, thinking that his boat may have come upon rough waters, he noticed a cove off to the side in the marsh. The boat was not there or in the marsh. He took comfort in the fact that he saw no wood fragments and he saw no signs of a crash.
Johnnie was saddened at heart about this turn of events and it really affected him. He was depressed at home and his friends at school noticed a change in his overall demeanor. A top-notch straight “A” student he was now getting “B’s”. Everyday coming home from school he would keep an eye out for his boat hoping it would appear and he could take it to the creek again, just like old times. Every time he saw something his heart would fill with anticipation and he would approach what he saw with a sense of expectancy. That feeling would leave as suddenly as it came when the boat he saw was not his.
One day, coming home from school, he saw a hobby shop and in the window he saw his boat – his red and blue boat with a yellow stripe – and once again his heart jumped with joy and anticipation of holding that boat in his hands. He ran across the street – ignoring the cars – and into the store. He looked once again at the item in the window, turned and exclaimed to the man behind the counter, “That’s my boat! Can I have it?” The proprietor said to Johnnie (who was filled with exuberance and had a smile on his face from ear to ear) “That cost $10.00”. Johnnie stopped and thought to himself ‘hmmmm, that boat is mine so why should I have to pay for it to get it back’ but without any further hesitation he ran home, pulled out his piggy bank and shook it with enthusiasm. The sounds of the coins clanging against the sides of the bank gave him the excitement of having enough money in the bank to buy his boat back. He gathered up his money quickly, ran back to the store and gave the man at the counter his money and said “I would like to buy that boat in the window” he blurted out. The man at the counter could see the boy’s excitement, went and got the boat out of the window, came back with it and took the money and gave him the boat. Then Johnnie exclaimed “I have you back at last”. The boat was finally back in the hands of its creator.
What meaning is there in this for us? Have we as Christians, ever considered the fact that Jesus never owned anything or purchased anything for Himself? That is, until He went to His death on the cross, when all He owned was a crown of thorns on His head and the cloth around His waist. It was with His death on the cross that His first purchase was our freedom with the shedding of His blood. When He ascended into heaven, He was welcomed back into the hands of His creator with excitement and exuberance.