Several years ago I received a phone call from my mother- in-law. She lives with us now, but at that time she and my father-in-law lived in Brooklet.
She called to tell me she wanted to give me a boat. It’s 12-foot john boat that I have used often in small ponds and the Ogeechee. I have had many enjoyable hours sitting in that boat.
The day I went to get the boat, Chris told me the terms. As payment she wanted fish. But she had very specific instructions for me.
“Don’t bring me a mess of fish, either cleaned or not. You catch ‘em, clean ‘em, cook ‘em, and call me.” Quickly I said, “Yes ma’am,” and about three weeks later I called her from a private pond and told her I wanted to make my first down payment at 6 p.m. that day.
Since that time I have done a number of things to fix up my boat. I’m on my second battery and trolling motor. I’ve bought a small outboard motor. I’ve put a wood floor, covered by indoor/outdoor carpet in it. That free boat has cost me a few dollars. But I have had such fun in it.
There’s work to do every time you fish. You have to re-spool fishing reels, load up the equipment, charge the battery, put the boat in the water. And when you are done you have to do it all over again. And that’s not even mentioning the job of cleaning the fish.
But the time, the money and the effort are worth it to me. First, I like to eat fish! Then there are those times when the fish are biting like crazy. Almost every cast there is a strike. And then there’s the big one. Last year I landed a 12-pound bass. I’d never seen one that large before. What a rush!
The truth is that anything that is worthwhile takes time, money and effort. That’s true of marriage and parenting. That’s true in serving the church. It’s true about anything we enjoy.
Aren’t you glad Jesus made the sacrifice he made for you? It is my intent to count the cost and serve him – not to earn my salvation, but to show gratitude for his goodness to me.
I hope you will do the same. As the old gospel song says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” You will be blessed.