Thirteen Lessons from a Boat

August, 2016 

School is “just around the corner” as the cliché' goes!  Teachers and students are gearing up to embark on a journey of learning.  School supplies are being purchased at the local Target store.  Some churches are distributing book bags to needy students.  College students are gathering all their gear together wondering how life will be with a brand new dorm-mate.  Teachers are going into their classroom to finalize those lesson plans and get their rooms ready for the first day of school. How exciting! 

In the Chambersburg Church of the Brethren congregation, where my wife Darlene pastors, they have a nursery school that ministers to three and four year old students.  As I was writing this article, I wondered if the committee when planning to begin pre-school education, had ever contemplated giving their ministry a catchy name.  Somewhere in my travels, I saw a nursery school, whose name was “Noah's Ark”.  That name sparked my thinking and memory. 

I remember some of the places we went on field trips as part of our elementary and secondary education.  Some of those field trips brought lessons I might have ever learned otherwise.  But, I have to say that none of them ever included positive lessons from a boat. 

God, the Master Teacher, invited Noah to join him on probably the most risky and faith-producing field trip of all time.  He gave him very specific construction and lesson plans outlining how to prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime journey.  In addition, he chose only the students that he knew were up for the ride – some of which you might call “dumb animals.” 

Education, no matter whether teaching in a classroom of  three and four year old students or aged-adults seventy and up, is indeed a faith-journey.  Becky Button sent an email some time ago that used the story of Noah's Ark to convey lessons that he might have learned on his famous “field trip”.  It was entitled, “All I Really Need to Know I learned from Noah's Ark.” 

Following this paragraph, I pass them along for your consideration and learning as we prepare and gear up for another year of Christian Education at the Ridge Church of the Brethren. 

                                                                       Pastor Clarence 


1.   Don't miss the boat. 

2.   Don't forget that we're all in the same boat. 

3.   Plan ahead.  It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. 

4.   Stay fit.  When you're 600 years old, someone might ask

        you to do something really big. 

5.   Don't listen to critics, just get on with what has to be done. 

6.   Build your future on high ground. 

7.   For safety's sake, travel in pairs. 

8.   Two heads are better than one. 

9.   Speed isn't always an advantage. 

10.  When you are stressed, float awhile. 

11.  Remember the ark was built by amateurs; the titanic was built by

12.  Remember that the woodpeckers inside are a larger threat than the
       storm outside.

13.  No matter the storm, when God is with you, there's a rainbow waiting.