Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

October 2, 2012

Postscript to Tarpon Springs

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I reread several of the blogs I have shared about Tarpon Springs.  Each time I do, other thoughts come . . . and also there were some promises in those blogs of matters that I would share later.

Allow me today to add some additional words!

Bought a shrimp boat.    Yes, that’s right . . . I bought a small shrimp boat.  It was this way:  I was working along the river and the docks.  The wind was howling because a small hurricane was possibly on the way.  I saw a man struggling to secure his boat.  I stopped to see if I could give him a hand.  He was fussing about the “wreck” and questioned whether he should even secure it.  His attitude was “let the storm have it!”  Yet, he felt responsibility for the damage it could do to other boats nearby if it was blown from its moorings.

The boat was really old . . . in bad condition . . . and was really a one man operation.  I doubt that he had made much of a living as a shrimper with this boat!  As we talked, I felt that he saw this boat more of a burden than a blessing!  In his mumblings I realized he was ready to be free of the responsibility of ownership.

I spoke up and asked if he wanted to sell it.  There was an eager, positive response.  “How much,” I asked?

He gave me a price . . . and ’til this day, I cannot remember how much, but I know it was ridiculously low!  You know . . . the kind of bargain you can’t pass up?

I know I said I would take it . . . no time to run home and talk it over with Judy . . . it was too good of a bargain.  Besides, the storm was possibly coming and the boat would not be there after the storm.

I could not leave it moored in that place on the river.  I did not have a trailer . . . and it was certainly too big to roll home in a wheelbarrow!  My new friend was very accommodating!  He said he would borrow a trailer and take it to my home.  To my home?  What would I do with it in our yard!  Yet, I knew I could not use it until some repairs were made . . . and I intended to do some remodeling from shrimp boat to family pleasure boat!

Within a few hours it was sitting in our yard.  I remember so well saying to myself, “I own a shrimp boat!”  I think I was more enamored with owning such a boat . . . getting such a good bargain . . . and having a project than the reality of what I was facing.

Well, it sat in the yard . . . it sat in the yard . . . it sat in the yard!  That’s right . . . it sat in the yard!  Oh, there were a few hours then and there that I would work on it . . . make my plans . . . and dream!  But to my knowledge, that boat never went back to sea!

The reason it never went back to sea was because of the other word I wanted to share about our days in Tarpon Springs.

Committed to God’s will.  In earlier blogs about Tarpon Springs I acknowledged I had left the ministry.  It was for earning a living that had brought us to Tarpon Springs.  Although that time was so special in our lives, there was still that awareness that God had a plan for our lives.

We realized that God indeed intended for us to return to ministry.  That day came when we knew without doubt that we needed to return to serving God with our lives through His church.  We felt that for a door of ministry to open, I needed to return to school.  We investigated several possibilities, and then an opportunity came with scholarships that would provide so much for us if we consented to enroll in Emory University’s graduate program.  (See why scholarship monies were available. Is God Dead?

Thus, we made preparation over several months.  We cashed in what assets we had, borrowed money, and knew we could do it because God was providing . . . and would provide.  So, I became a student again!

The year plus in graduate school was a special year also.  God makes everything special if we follow His leadership.  That does not mean it was easy.  We lived in a basement apartment, gladly accepted food and left-overs from some family that lived in the area.  Judy, of course, carried so much responsibility as wife, mother, and general engineer of all.  And I worked nights at Sears.

God provided other ways also . . . and as usual, that is another story.  But from that graduate program, we were called to a church . . . and it has been continuous since those days!  But again, Tarpon Springs has been pivotal in our lives.  Without the experience of living there, would God haven’t gotten through to us?  Oh, yes, I think so.  When God has a purpose, He will continue to strive with us to understand it.  He is not hounding us . . . but seeking to make us happy!  His way and will bring happiness in life!



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