Building an Ark
God asked Noah to build an ark – might he be asking you to do the same? Not an ark to save the world from an impending flood! But an ark to preserve some important things that may be slipping away in your marriage, family, among your friends or in your workplace.
Ron Rolheiser, an incredibly insightful theologian who I have interviewed many times for Everyday Faith, says the story of Noah’s Ark might be recast this way:
Every so often there comes a time in history when there is so little vision, faith, idealism, decency, and charity left on this planet that there is a real danger that the world itself will sink, will drown, and revert to a chaos that will kill everything that's precious. But one person, despite all that is going on around him or her, will keep his or her eyes on what's higher, keep faith intact, protect life, and refuse to compromise charity and decency. Eventually the earth will drown in chaos, but because of this one person's vision, idealism, faith, decency, and charity, a pocket of life, that still contains all that is precious, will be preserved and given a new chance to grow.
Noah's Ark is a boat of faith, vision, idealism, decency, and charity. These virtues give us the capacity to float above the chaos that drowns things. Moreover, our decency, charity, faith, and vision contain within themselves all that's precious and that needs to be protected and given a continued chance for life.
Are there any relationships in your life that are sinking, drowning in chaos, or simply losing what once made them special, uplifting or remarkable? If so, God tells us through the story of Noah’s Ark that one person can make a difference in these relationships by restoring the virtues of faith, vision, idealism, decency, and charity that form the bedrock of all that is good. Noah didn’t build his ark in a day, and neither can you restore your relationships in a day. But with hard work, perseverance and God’s help, you too can build an ark that consists of all the virtues needed in your life and the lives of those around you.