A friend of mine recently referred to life being a bit like Noah on the ark! So I read the Noah account in the Bible today in Genesis 6-9 to see if I could pick up any clues to help us in this season of our temporary isolation.
It doesn’t tell you much about life on the ark – more the before and after. Beforehand – lots and lots of preparation – including building this gigantic boat to specific specifications. There have been reconstructions of the ark and analysis as to whether it could actually work. Apparently, it did have double the capacity needed for the animals and its ratio of length to width (6 to 1) is the most stable known and used for modern tankers and freight hauling ships! It would have been able to carry 20,000 tons of cargo. I’m not going to debate whether this is a real story or a myth which aims to teach us principles for life, but it is interesting that it was a potentially functional design.
In reading the account, Noah with just his family and all those animals and supplies, were on that huge boat together for about a year! And they survived – and were very thankful. The first thing they did was thank God for sparing them when they were again on dry land.
I wonder what life was like on the ark together? Noah’s family would have had to adjust to a whole new routine of caring for lots of animals – plenty of hard, physical labour and dirty work involved – very quickly. It would have taken heaps of cooperation and good grace and flexibility. And an ongoing thankfulness to be the ones who were still alive.
These principles apply to us today too. Yes, the changes can be hard to take for many of us. We would prefer to do other things, be in other circumstances. But this is our lot at present, so let’s do the best we can. Let’s cooperate with others and the restrictions put upon us, be gracious with each other – realising others are stressed and anxious. We need to acknowledge our own grief at the changes thrust upon us, so we can move on to being adaptable to our current circumstances. Being grateful always helps our own mental health – and makes us more pleasant to be around. What are you grateful for?
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The articles here were written by Peter Andrews on behalf of the Chaplaincy Team from beginning 2023.