Before You Decide...Get the Facts!
By Lowell's Notes
How much money would it take to convince you to jump out of a plane...with no parachute? One million dollars? Two? Ten? If you think like me, you would just laugh at an offer like this. The money would do you no good at all if you were dead, right?
But what if the above scenario didn't represent all of the facts? For example, what if this offer was given to you as you sat in the plane on the runway? Changes everything doesn't it?
When I was ten years old, I spent the night with a friend. He had gotten permission from a neighbor for us to go fishing in his four or five acre pond. The neighbor said that we could use the rowboat that had been dragged up on the bank.
We hardly slept because we were so excited about the prospect of fishing in the boat--this would be a great adventure for us.
Early the next morning, we got up and packed sandwiches and chips in paper bags. Then we put some lemonade in a thermos, gathered our fishing gear and walked the half mile or so to the pond.
The air was a little chilly and I shivered as we pushed the aluminum boat down the bank and eased it into the pond. My friend got in the boat and I handed him the lunch bags and fishing gear.
The sun was peeking over the horizon as I shoved the boat free from the bank and jumped aboard without getting my feet wet. My friend handed me a paddle and we began rowing out into the pond.
It took a bit of adjustment for us to figure out how to row in a fairly straight line, and the boat was a lot heavier and harder to row than than I had imagined it to be.
Approaching the center of the pond, our arms ached from rowing and we decided to just drift. We stowed the paddles away and reached for our fishing poles.
The fish were biting and soon we had a couple of decent-sized bass and crappie to put on our stringer. We kept the stringer tied to a ring that was welded on the back corner of the boat.
Time slipped away and the sun was warm on our faces as we fished and talked. I caught a big catfish and struggled to get him in the boat.
When I stepped past my friend to put the catfish on the stringer, I noticed a little bit of water sloshing in the bottom of the boat, but didn't think much about it. A while later, I noticed that our lunch bags in the center of the boat were waterlogged and fussed at my friend for ruining our lunches.
This is when we took another look at where the water was coming from. There was a hole in the back of the boat! This was where the drain plug was supposed to be--used to drain rainwater from the boat. Apparently, it had been plugged with mud from the bank of the pond when we first pushed off and it took a while for the mud to get soggy and then pop out. Now water was pretty much just rushing in!
We grabbed for the oars and began rowing mightily. The boat was sluggish and heavy. It was obvious that we weren't going to make it to shore.
I made a confession to my friend at this point that I had been too ashamed to ever tell him before-that I did not know how to swim. I expected him to laugh at me, but he was pale and shaky--and then he confessed to me that he couldn't swim either.
We renewed our efforts to row. The water was up past our ankles and getting deeper by the minute. I realized that I was going to drown and began yelling for help. My friend joined in and we yelled at the top of our voices for someone to come rescue us.
No one heard us. We screamed and yelled to the point of exhaustion for help. We cried and prayed for help. We begged for God to help us. We shouted until our voices cracked, and the water was now up to our knees.
We stayed in the boat until water began rushing over the top edges, then we held on to the sides of the boat until it sank. All hope was lost as we floundered in panic and we sank.
This is when we found out that the water was only about four feet deep! We could stand on the bottom of the pond and our heads were safely above the water!
In my mind, it was a miracle! My relief was so great that I laughed and splashed water at my friend to cover my sheepishness at how scared I had been. We had survived!
I still recall the pure panic of the moment, thinking I was going to drown that day. I didn't know that the pond was that shallow. I had no idea that I could stand on the bottom of the pond and that my head would be above the water. All I knew is that the boat was sinking and that I didn't know how to swim.
How many times in life do have moments like that? Facing circumstances that are, without a doubt, extreme. All hope seems to be lost. Then we discover additional facts that almost make the circumstances laughable.
If you are facing something in your life today that seems overwhelming and you simply do not see a way to survive, I challenge you to take another look at the facts. There may very well be another parameter that changes everything.
Don't make a decision based on panic or first impressions. Think, pray, but most of all, don't make a decision until you know all of the facts.
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