No. 328

In many ways my wife Viola and I are different. This is to be expected because I am a man and she is a woman. There are many areas where this is true, but none more so than when it comes to the outdoor activity of camping. I love to go camping, sit around a fire and drink coffee, sleep in a sleeping bag, a tent or a pop-up camper. On the other hand her idea of camping is sitting around the pool at the Holiday Inn. While I like to rough it, she likes all the comforts of home. However, she said even in her condition that she would make an exception if I would buy one of those $100,000 motor homes! That’s the end of that story.
=If you are also a person who loves all the “comforts of home” you may see a parallel in a wonderful larger-than-life story a reader sent me several years ago. It’s titled, THE LIFE SAVING STATION and it begins, “On a dangerous sea coast where ship wrecks often occur, there was once a crude little life saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, went out day and night, constantly searching for the lost. Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so it became famous.
Some of those who were saved and various others in the surrounding area wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and crews were trained. The little life saving station grew. Some of the members were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt a more comfortable place should be provided, so they replaced the emergency cots and beds and put better furniture in the enlarged building.
Now, the life saving station became a popular gathering place. It was used as sort of a “club.” Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life saving missions, so they hired life boat crews to do this work. The life saving motifs still prevailed in the club’s decorations and there was a liturgical life boat in the room where initiations were held. About this time, a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in loads of cold, wet, half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick and some of them had black skin and some of them had yellow skin. The beautiful new club was considerably messed up, so the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club, where the victims of ship wrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside.
At the next meeting there was a split in the saving activities as being a hindrance to the normal social life of the club. Some members insisted on life saving as their primary purpose and pointed out they were still called a life saving station, but they were finally voted down and told if they wanted to save the lives of various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own life saving station down the coast. They did!! Years went by. The new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. Yes, history does have a way of repeating itself. If you visit the coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.”
When I first began to share this little story I asked if you could see a parallel between having all the “comforts of home” and something far more important that is present in our society today. This story was taken from The Presbyterian Journal and in case you did not recognize it, it’s the story of the church. My church is very important to me. We have a wonderful pastor and people who love each other and who try to serve the Lord. This story has moved me deeply. God Bless America. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)