The water was beyond choppy. No small strike and retreat type violent waves, but instead tall strong waves, rising up as if in battle against the huge ship. Within its hull and in its depth sat one soul across from another and row upon row from front to back with only a narrow opening to walk along. Each slave was chained to a different set of links, oar in hand. A whip waited in the large hands of he who controlled the rowers of the boat. The whip rose and fell in rhythm on the bare callused backs of those who thought themselves too weary, to push against the oars yet one more time and drove them to try again.
Now the boat rose and fell with the violence about it, of the tall waves seeking to bring it to a watery grave. Where, the rowers wondered was the keeper of the waters, the calmer of the sea. On they rowed upon this treacherous place where the great ship struggled.
Envy sat in the first row. He had prided himself on his strength for he was great in numbers and a useful tool in the world of mankind. Now he and those of his kind within the great boat wondered why this was happening to them. How had they gotten to be part of this. Was it the ‘sea of life’ they wondered?
Greed sat across from envy, pausing ever so slightly to cast him a look of hatred. “Your fault I’m here. If I hadn’t have felt envy at my fellow man, greed would not have become my lot in life. It is your fault I am here. I hope you know that!“ He shouted the last words at Greed.
Down the way and a few rows in front, sat Worry. Head hung and sorry beyond words for whatever had brought him to this end of such a state of affairs. He was acquainted with Greed and envy, but didn’t think he had taken on so much of their characteristics. Had he? He wondered. Perhaps…
Further in the back, sat fretfulness, a cousin to worry, thinking much the same things as worry was. He sat as far away from others known as Mean Hearts, Fear and Harm, as he could get.
Nearer the middle, sat Power, wondering if he hadn’t pushed the whole issue more than he should have, forming the great union of Envy, Greed, Worry, and Fretfulness. Perhaps he could swing some kind of deal with the holder of the whip. Maybe a partnership could be offered. He would try.
The whip holder roared out so loudly that the ship rocked even more violently than it already had. “Do you find me stupid” He roared, laying the whip upon Power with more force than he needed to have used. “It would seem to me that I have control of all the rowers here. You offer me a partnership, when I already have full control. I tell you what. If you can get rid of your chains and make it to the Captain, we’ll see what kind of deal he will make with you!’ He laughed rudely and looked about to see whom he might also whip.
In the back, a somber group continued to pull at their oars, fighting to move the ship forward to a calmer area. They felt sorry that Envy, Greed, Worry, Fretful and Power were so terribly treated. They had given the whip holder no reason to beat on them and had been spared. Even though things were not as they should be in the hearts of those other men, they were still their brothers in the world. They did not know why they had been put in this place, except perhaps it was a time of trials that they might build even more strength of character in enduring this torment. These were called Christ’s Children. If the truth were known, even the whip holder tried to stay away from this group. There was something different about them, something he knew nothing of, but perhaps it was a bigger something then the troublemakers he had beat.
The Children of Christ group, themselves, had spoken about how it was given to them, to help others in need. Putting their own needs apart, they began to seek the Father of all mankind, the Great Creator. “Father, look down upon us now and grant the needs within this place. If we are taken from this place and made to die, we have little fear, for we know we come to you. It is for the others we ask this. Please Lord. Calm the seas, ease their laboring. Touch somehow the heart of the whip holder that he may feel no need to bring more harm. We ask this in your precious name. AMEN”
As if the mighty waves had received a command from the Great Master, they sank down to the depths of the great sea and it became calm, the oars behaved as they should and there was no need for the whip holder to pour forth the pain of the whip. He did not understand what had happened to calm the seas. Perhaps he should ask of it, from the Children of Christ group. Perhaps if they were smart, the other rowers would do the same. Now the praying rowers pushed the oars and sang songs of praise to He, who knows and cares for all. The journey would come to an end and all would be resolved, according to the Masters will.
LIFE WAS GOOD