Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Why Noah built his boat and why you should build yours too


"We have sown and we have harvested, but without rainfall in the spring, there was not much to reap this year," lamented Noah as he sat down in front of the fire. Sarah stared at her husband, but did not say anything. It was not the best moment to tell Noah that she was expecting a baby, their first.

"Come and sit down by me, Sarah," went on Noah in a grave voice. "There is something I want to tell you." Sarah did what her husband asked from her and looked at him, trying not to show her alarm. During their years together, they had often gone through difficult times, but she had never heard Noah sound so desperate, so defeated.

Noah reflected for a long moment and then he shook his head. His words came out slowly, reluctantly. "I have had a vision, Sarah. God has talked to me." Sarah bit her lip and waited, since she knew what was coming. She did not believe in God herself, but she had always respected Noah's strong religiosity.

"Friends and neighbours are already going hungry," continued Noah, "and after paying taxes, we will have nothing left ourselves. If we just wait and hope, we might not make it through the winter." Sarah turned her eyes to the fire, searching her mind for words of encouragement to say to her husband, but she found none.

Suddenly, Noah's voice changed and his tone became determined, pressing. "God has told me that we must move. I am to sell our farm for whatever price I can get and use the money to build a boat, a large one." He was interrupted by Sarah's surprised reaction. "A boat? What do you want to do with a boat? You know nothing about fishing."

"There are wide fertile fields down the river, Sarah, I have seen them in my dream. God has told me that we can start a new farm there, a new life. I am to purchase a pair of goats, a pair of chicken, and a pair of sheep, male and female, and take them with us on the boat."

From all the nonsensical projects that Sarah had heard from her husband night after night, year after year, this was by far the most daring and, at the same time, the most insane. From their first encounter, Sarah had loved Noah because he was an entrepreneur, unfortunately, as it had turned out, a crazy one.

A pair of goats on a boat, what lunacy, thought Sarah, taking in a deep breath. Once again, it was up to her to put some sense into Noah's mind. "Only a pair of each is too risky," she objected firmly, "we should take a least two pairs of each sort, male and female."

It was the first time that Sarah had expressed support for any of Noah's high-risk ideas and he was so taken aback, that it took him a while to reply. "What if I am wrong, Sarah? What if we lose everything we have?"

Sarah contemplated the reflection of the flames in Noah's eyes. The project was too risky and she could not afford any doubts. She needed to ask the question. She had to be certain that Noah was not lying to her. "Did you really have a vision, Noah? Did God tell you what to do?"

Her heart ached when she saw the pain in Noah's eyes, when she saw him lower his head. "I am not sure if it was God, Sarah," his voice was barely audible now, "but I know that my vision is true." There was a silence, but it was short, just long enough for Sarah to lay her hands on Noah's. "Then, we will build the boat," she said.

[Text: http://johnvespasian.blogspot.com]

[Image by Linda Duchaine under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]