The Joey Chronicles – Hebrews 3 / Time to Rest
When Pastor John was growing up he had an imaginary friend name Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
Joey remembered the first time he doubted something his parents told him to do.
He had been working hard all week to get his chores done, to do his homework, to be nice to his sister, and to feed the dog. Mom had said they would take him to Laurelhurst Park on Saturday morning for the maiden voyage of his 3-foot long oil tanker that had a motorized propeller and was guaranteed to float.
Joey had been putting the finishing touches on his model all month and he was constantly gazing at the red hull and white smoke stacks that replaced almost everything on his bedroom dresser. He kept reading the part about “guaranteed to float” and hoped it was true.
He could see himself releasing the boat on the shimmering water and watching as it powered itself away from shore and majestically circled back to where Joey was waiting. He had a special setting for the rudder that would eventually bring it back to him.
Saturday morning came. Joey jumped out of bed, put on his clothes and hustled to the kitchen where he smelled bacon and eggs.
Mom was turned towards the stove and Dad was sitting at the table reading the paper and drinking orange juice.
“Joey, is your Texaco Tanker all ready to go to the park?”
“Yes, mom. It’s been ready since last week.”
“Are you sure it’s going to float?”
“I hope so. That is a big pond and I don’t want to have to wade out and get it. I bet the water is cold.” Dad said this quietly as he put down the newspaper.
“And it will come back to you, right?"
“And you have fresh batteries for the propellers?”
Mom went to the kitchen drawer and pulled out a ball of kite string. “Joey, I want you to tie this string to one of the smokestacks so that you can pull your boat back if it gets in trouble.”
“If it floats we can take the string off later.”
“But it will look stu-…”
“Joey, Mom is right.” Dad dished up the eggs Mom brought to the table and Joey hung his head in disbelief and disappointment.
Mom and Dad were wrong and he knew it. His tanker would float. The instructions said it would. And how stupid it would look to have a string tied to this majestic ship he was about to sail!
Joey’s stomach was tied in knots as they headed to Laurelhurst and he was angry. He wanted to sail his boat his way and his parents had changed everything.
The sun shone brightly with a chilly spring light as they walked to the edge of the pond. The park bustled with activity as other boys and girls were flying kites, playing catch, and a pickup game of baseball was just starting in the distance.
Joey knelt down with his beautiful ship and laid it at the pond’s edge.
“Have you put the string on yet?”
“Not yet, Dad.”
Joey’s fingers looped the string over the smoke stack and pretended to tie it. He started the motor, made sure the propeller was turning and placed the boat in the water.
“There it goes!” Dad yelled, startling the nearby geese.
As the boat slowly made its way from shore Joey’s stomach clenched as the string fell off the superstructure and trailed in the water.
“Joey, the string came off!” Mom nervously leaned over and put her hands on his shoulders.
‘It’s sinking!” Joey’s Dad was the next to speak.
Twenty feet away the tanker listed to starboard and slowly rolled over so only the bright red hull was visible in the morning sun.
Without another word, Joey’s Dad took off his shoes and socks, rolled his pants up and waded out to the scuttled tanker and brought it to shore.
Joey was ashamed. He had doubted his parents and then he had disobeyed them by taking the string off and his Dad had still rescued his tanker for him.
As they slowly drove home, Joey decided the next time his parents told him to do something he would do it. And with that thought, he relaxed and his stomach felt better for the first time that day.
In the book of Hebrews God tells us to believe that Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to us. When we believe Him then we will obey Him. And when we believe and obey our stomach is not tied in knots and we actually feel better and know what it means to rest.
Joey thanked God for his parents that night then looked with admiration at his beautiful model tanker sitting in its permanent place on his dresser.