Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Big Ark

Posted by JP




One of the great stories in Sunday School growing up was "Noah's Ark." As you may know, Noah was told by God to build a giant boat in the middle of the desert to protect his family from a future flood that was going to wipe out the earth. The vision wasn't to build a small ship, but instead it was the biggest ship ever created. Big enough to house Noah, his family and two of each creature on the earth. I mean imagine receiving a vision to build the biggest zoo in the entire world on a boat?  To say it was a little nuts is an understatement.  I am sure that Noah at first was really excited to hear this vision from God. He probably could envision how great and vast this ship was going to be. He also knew that he had to do this to survive, and that it was God's love and compassion for his family that gave him such a ridiculous idea. As the story goes, Noah built this ark, people made fun of him because it was such a crazy idea. It took him years and there was no way of testing to see if the boat would even float. As we know, eventually the flood came and Noah was saved, along with his family and all the animals.

As I was thinking about this story, I realized that the Bible doesn't mention Noah's relationship with his wife. I would like to read the biography of Noah's wife. Can you imagine what she was thinking? Noah's wife probably had thoughts like, "My husband believes he heard from God and he is using many of our resources to build this dream while the neighbor's whisper and laugh about our family." She probably thought, "As of right now I see no rain. We could be living a very comfortable life and instead we are struggling trying to build this enormous ship that can save us from this hypothetical disaster." She probably had doubts. "What if my husband is wrong? What if the neighbors are right and this flood that he speaks of never comes?" I have to wonder what the real family life of Noah was like leading up to the flood. I wonder about the day to day conversations, fights, and celebrations, surrounding the building of this boat.

If Noah was a good man, then his wife had to be a saint to support him on this crazy journey. I am not sure how long it took to build the boat, but one thing is for sure, this was not a weekend project. This was a project that took a lot of time, hard work and money to build. When the flood came, I'm sure it was a sad day to see many of their friends and family perish because they didn't heed God's warning. I am sure it was a relief that they were prepared and that they kept the faith they needed to persevere. Noah might have been the one who received the credit, but I know from experience that a big project takes many people to believe in what you are doing and nothing is as important as your wife supporting your dreams.


Now, this vineyard is a small undertaking compared to building an ark in a desert, however, I have learned that it is a crazy idea. It is crazy for me, someone who comes from a banking background to believe he can undertake such a project. A project that has taken a high learning curve, hard work, lots of prayer and as of right now, little financial reward. The satisfaction right now comes in just completing one small part of the project at a time.


Being the visionary I am and seeing the opportunities ahead, has always been a gifting of mine. I can see what nobody else sees. I can look into the dark flood of depressing news stories and life's setbacks and disasters of the day and see the glimpse of hope that will prosper my family one day so that we can be a great blessing to our friends, family and community. To take what little God has given us and turn it into a generational blessing that may one day change the world has always been a  big dream of mine.


I love my wife Beck so much because she lives in the here and now. She always tries her best to bring me back to reality. It doesn't always work, but she certainly tries. I have learned from her that if you don't think about the here and now, we will never get to our future goal. Similarly, I have taught her to not only think in the here and now, because if we do, then we will always remain in the mediocre circumstances we don't like. Sometimes a little sacrifice today can bring a great reward in the future. I believe that if we did not have each other and these different perspective on life we would not have been able to accomplish the things that we have. 


I believe my wife married a Noah and, although she may also think I am a little crazy, I know deep down she believes in me and that means more to me than anything. Our song when we were dating was "Everything I do, I do for you" by Brian Adams. (Cheeseball song by the way.) But the words of that song have always reflected the intentions of my heart. I love you Beck! -JP