Clovis Chappell, a minister from a century back, used to tell the story of two paddleboats. They left Memphis about the same time, traveling down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. As they traveled side by side, sailors from one vessel made a few remarks about the snail's pace of the other. Words were exchanged. Challenges were made. And the race began. Competition became vicious as the two boats roared through the Deep South.
One boat began falling behind. Not enough fuel. There had been plenty of coal for the trip, but not enough for a race. As the boat dropped back, an enterprising young sailor took some of the ship's cargo and tossed it into the ovens. When the sailors saw that the supplies burned as well as the coal, they fueled their boat with the material they had been assigned to transport. They ended up winning the race, but burned their cargo.
God has entrusted cargo to us, too: children, spouses, friends. Our job is to do our part in seeing that this cargo reaches its destination. Yet when the program takes priority over people, people often suffer. How much cargo do we sacrifice in order to achieve the number one slot? How many people never reach the destination because of the aggressiveness of a competitive captain?
How right Dr. Chappell was! And how right Max Lucado was to include this story in his book! We live in a society where we are encouraged, pretty much from birth, to chase the so-called “American Dream”. We work hard and we hustle and we give it our very best in order to provide well for our respective households.
But if we are not careful, in the process, we can wind up sacrificing the very loved ones for whom we purport to work so hard in the first place. Under the strain, marriages can and often do suffer, as do relationships between parents and children, and between children themselves.
For these reasons, today’s families desperately need support. In our church, we have seen this need clearly; and we have felt led to take steps to meet it. Accordingly, we have just welcomed aboard a brand new Family Ministries Pastor, whose chief objective is to help equip men and women with opportunities and resources to be the Godly husband and wives, as well as parents, which they are called to be.
Inherent in this is the assisting of families in the creation of environments where children, youth and parents all grow together in their respective relationships with God and with one another. Needless to say, we are excited about the many wonderful opportunities this new ministry venture holds.
I hope that you, the reader, are blessed to be a part of a church where a similar priority has been placed upon families. But whether your church provides such a ministry resource or not, I hope you will see the need of pursuing Biblical counsel for your own family as a whole, and for yourself and the other members of your family as individuals, as each of you seeks to fulfill the God-given roles which have been assigned to you therein.
SOURCE: Available widely online as cited in numerous secondary works. Lucado's actual book can be found here: https://books.google.com/books?id=