I’m gonna bunny trail for a minute. Yeah, right at the beginning. Why wait, ya know...? But I promise there’s a point.
The movie Noah comes out today amidst a lot of controversy about whether too much “artistic license” was taken in the making of it, whether it strays too far from the real story. As I was reading up about it the other day, some of the descriptions of the movie made me go back to Genesis to reread about it in more depth. And I was very interested to find some things I hadn’t noticed before. And I was thinking that, even if the movie strays away from the actual facts of the story, maybe it will at least cause people to go check the source. God can use anything He wants to...
Anyway, I was kinda shocked to not find any place in the account where there were people jeering and making fun of Noah as he toiled on the ark. And yet, that’s the picture I’ve had in my mind for years. People surrounding him, laughing and taunting as he slaves away for YEARS on this crazy massive wooden thing in the sun. Haven’t we all been taught that? And not to say they weren't. But, after reading and rereading Genesis chapters 6-9, and doing a search of Noah’s name throughout the Bible, none of the places in the Bible that alludes to the incident ever mentions anyone directly laughing at him, that I could find. It does say they were living their normal lives, not being aware of impending doom. But isn’t it funny the interpretations that sometimes get taught as fact... Does anyone know of a place in the scripture where it describes that scenario? If you do, let me know - I’m really curious.
It also was amazing to me to remember that Noah was 600 years old when the flood finally happened. That’s a long time to have lived before something that significant happened in his life. And to spend as long as he did on building that boat, day after day, year after year, working by the faith alone that God had commanded him to do this. I realize people lived longer during those days anyway, but really, think about it: if we cut that down to a tenth, which is about how long our life spans are today in comparison, that would have had him being almost 60 before God came to him with the warning and command to build the ark.
And here we come around to the point.
It got me thinking about how fast and full we have come to expect our lives to be. How many significant things we plan to accomplish. Especially here in America, we’re so used to seeing immediate, or very nearly immediate, results on things we do, work for, or want, that if we don’t, we fight discouragement and even anger. I tend to think part of the reason God had people living so long at the beginning was because He knew things took time, and since the world was so new, there were a lot of things that were going to take a lot of time to figure out. Patterns of weather. Patterns of crops. Patterns of the human body. Patterns of social relationships.
I was reading with Jasmine during homeschool a couple weeks ago about Samuel Morse and the telegraph. It took him his whole life to first have the idea that maybe communication didn't have to move so slowly, then to figure out that sound and electrical impulses could travel, then inventing the machine that would harness it to make long-range communication possible, and THEN convincing other skeptical people to give large amounts of money towards his work so he could keep building it. He didn’t see it really start to be fulfilled until he was much, much older, and he was pretty poor the whole time. But he kept going, often alone and without immediate significant results. Without being able to see the serious impact it made, the huge technological gate it eventually opened. He just had a vision, a drive, a passion, a belief, and he simply built his life around it.
There have been countless people over the ages that have begun things and have not lived to see their success. And yet they were extremely significant things that ended up moving history and humanity forward. And then I compare that with my very shortsighted views of starting, and continuing, projects in my little corner that I feel that God has put in my heart, and the discouragement that threatens to make me quit during the times it seems too hard.
Puts a few things into perspective.
The Bigger Picture. The one that God has seen since the beginning of time. All I have to do is keep going with what is in my hands and heart today. It may end up being significant, it may not. But all I have to worry about is doing it, and not quitting.
We gotta start somewhere. Just do the Next Thing.