His Twice Over
by Fr. Jack McArdle with Aneel Aranha
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
This young lad was reared by the sea, and he spent most of his spare time paddling around in boats, or mingling with the fisher-men at the pier. One day he found a piece of timber, and he got an inspiration. He got a sharp knife, and began to carve a toy boat. His hands and his mind worked in conjunction, and he found that was able to create something that he could visualise in his mind. He spent a lot of time and patience, and, eventually the boat was completed. It was not finished yet, however. He decided to paint it his favourite colours, and to give it sails. He selected a name for it, which he painted on both sides. It was a thing of beauty, and a joy to behold.
It would not be a boat, however, if it never entered water, so one day he brought it down to the pier, and placed it gently in the water. He was filled with pride and joy at the sight of it, as it bobbed up and down in the water. It was some time before he realised what was happening. Because he had given it sails(free-will?), it came under the influence of a firm breeze, and it soon had moved beyond his reach. Without thinking, he called it, because he had given it a name. Slowly but surely the boat moved out to sea, and all the boy could was look on helplessly. He stood there for ages, hoping for a miracle, but, eventually he gave up, and returned home with a heavy heart.
His mind was preoccupied with the boat for the next few days, and the very thought of it was piercing his heart. He was wandering around town one day, and, as he was passing the front window of a toy-shop, his heart rose in his throat. There in the front of the window was his boat! He ran it to claim it, but the shop-keeper left him in no doubt that the boat was his now, and, if the boy wanted it, he would have to buy it, like any other item in the shop. The boy was deeply troubled, and he ran home to tell his dad. The father listened with great attention, and then he spoke to the boy calmly. "You now have a choice. If you want the boat, you will just have to pay for it, because, legally, it belongs to the shopkeeper, who bought it from one of the fishermen." "How much will it cost me?" asked the boy. "I don't know" said his dad, "but I do know that, if you want it bad enough you will be prepared to pay everything you have to buy it".
The boy emptied every savings box he had, gathered every penny he could find, put the lot in a paper bag, and ran down to the shop. He placed the bag on the counter, and asked for the money. The shopkeeper had a quick check on the money, and he then handed over the boat. The boy rubbed it, kissed it, and clutched it with both hands, as he ran all the way home to his dad. "Ah, I see you got the boat. It's yours now, isn't it?" "Yes, it is", said the boy excitedly, "It's mine now, and it's mine twice over. I made it, and, when I lost it, I gave everything I have to get it back. I won't let it go this time."
The boy is Jesus, and you are the boat; he created you, and when you were lost he gave all he had to buy you back, so you are his now, you are his twice over.
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