Several weeks ago, after my long-anticipated end-o-summer fishing vacation, I noticed people online offering what I thought were some pretty amazing bargains on used boats.
I couldn’t stop looking at them.
One after the other, I kept finding cooler and cooler boats that were sooooo much better than my current boat.
Now, to be honest, I have been blessed with a perfectly good boat. Yes, it’s over 25 years old, but I’ve been refining and tweaking the fine points of “Boaty” for so long that it kind of fits me like the proverbial glove. (The odd name is the result of a contest held in 2016 in the UK by the Natural Environment Research Council to name one of its super-expensive research vessels. The British public, instead of voting for a prestigious, seriously dignified, and suitably stodgy name for the boat, instead overwhelmingly chose the name “Boaty McBoatface.” The government was not impressed and named the vessel “The Sir David Attenborough” for the famous researcher. A small drone aboard The Sir David Blah Blah Blah was begrudgingly given the McBoatface name. It’s one of those stories I find far more humorous than I should.)
Nonetheless, despite how Boaty had served me faithfully for many years, I found myself being drawn to other boats. I almost made an offer on one, but it sold before I carried through on my impulse. A second boat caught my eye and I sent a message telling the seller I wanted to come look at it but he withdrew the posting without responding to my inquiry. Then there was a third boat that I just could not resist so I sent that seller a message saying I wanted to drive two hours into the metro and come look at it. The seller responded that he was working nights and it would be a couple of days before I could look at it and then only after 8:00 p.m. I responded that it didn’t seem like a good idea to look at an item like a boat in the dark. The seller told me, in no uncertain terms, that he had many other people interested in this boat (which had been for sale for 16 weeks) and he did not need to make any concessions like allowing me to look at it in the daylight. Two days later, he messaged me saying he had sold it to someone else and, “Betcha you didn’t see that coming!”
I told my wife it seemed as if God was telling me not to buy a boat.
She gave me that look that loving wives give their husbands when non-verbal communication is far more powerful than actually saying the word, “Duh.”
Still, my addictive personality had been triggered and I found a fourth boat I was absolutely sure was THE boat for me and a screaming bargain to boot.
And I bought it.
I was victorious! Ha! Take THAT, all the forces of the universe that did not want me to have a new, super-cool boat!
And, as it turns out, once I got Woody home and on the lake (The brand name is “Northwoods.”) and did some fine-tuning and tweaking, I found that Woody is a very good boat indeed and I did get a very good deal.
But, for a variety of reasons that are individually very small but collectively add up to an inescapable conclusion, I like Boaty better.
The part that is extremely disconcerting is that I am still addicted to looking at other boats. I still haven’t learned my lesson. Yes, I will probably be able to sell Woody in the spring for more than I paid for it, but I spent an entire Saturday cleaning out my shed so that I could store two boats over the winter instead of one and there are so many other super-cool boats out there all yearning to be my best boat ever… and maybe I could make a living buying and fixing up and selling boats and eventually I would find that perfect boat I was destined to have since forever.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” NLT
Or maybe I will come to my senses.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)