Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Every sentence, paragraph, report or story must have a central theme or topic – a golden thread throughout weaving together all the information in a lovely tapestry. The choosing of that golden thread is not for the faint of heart. It’s the key to good story telling. Well, our family has just returned from an incredible cruise adventure. My challenge is to decide which theme to weave through my story so you can enjoy it to the utmost. Should I simply list the ports of call? Let’s see, we started in Auckland, New Zealand on December 28 and proceeded each day to a different city in that country: Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The final day, we sailed through Fjordland’s Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound (Pix in the slideshow at the right). Hmmmm. That account seemed rather boring, didn’t it? And our cruise was anything but boring. So let’s try another theme. How about all that went wrong with our trip? We missed the first five days of the cruise – one of those days because of bad weather, the other four due to (at best) unhelpful, (and at worst) incompetent folks at our cruise line. We were then stranded in Auckland’s airport for more than three hours because Royal Caribbean’s rep. never showed up to meet us. When we finally got on the ship, a driving rain caused us to miss our first port altogether. The food was terrible – no lobster tails served the entire cruise. Four of the six ports were a 30-40 minute drive inland, and the cruise line shuttle buses were outrageously priced. Well, that theme is worse than boring. It’s ungrateful and depressing! So let’s try a happy theme: We arrived in Auckland a day before the ship docked, so we stayed in a fabulous 5-star hotel. Our girls base jumped from the Auckland Sky Tower (the highest bldg. in the southern hemisphere), and lived to laugh about it! We ate dinner each night with three wonderful couples, one Russian/Canadian, one Australian and one Israeli, who became dear friends. Roy won the ship’s ping-pong tournament (and got a gold medal) on his birthday! New Year’s Eve came twice this year – once New Zealand time and again 18 hours later as we watched the Times' Square ball drop on the ship's TV. We caught a glimpse of Sydney’s harbor before being whisked away to the airport. And most importantly, we spent 9 glorious, restful, uninterrupted days with our adult daughters and the precious parents-of-our-hearts in a fabulous part of the world we’ve never seen before. Doesn’t that theme sound better? And I could choose other themes and tell you much, much more, but I had to just hit the highlights.

As did the writers of Scripture. Those who wrote God’s Word wrote with one Theme in mind – God – and then they hit the highlights. As I read the introduction to Genesis in Eugene Peterson’s, The Message, it occurred to me that the reason Genesis reads like Swiss cheese (it has lots of holes – come on, keep up!) is that the author only included the information that was central to the theme of God. All those questions like: Who did Cain and Abel marry? Where do dinosaurs fit in? Where exactly was the Garden of Eden? Who were the Nephilim? don’t really matter in the central theme of the story about God. So the author left those details out! So move on. Get past it. Enjoy the story he DID write…

Gen. 1:1a – “In the beginning God created…”

  • Right there it is. The author, probably Moses, tells us the theme of his Book. God. As Eugene Peterson said in The Message, “First God…If we don’t have a sense of the primacy of God, we will never get it right, get life right, get our lives right. Not God in the margins; not God as an option; not God on the weekends. God at center and circumference; God first and last; God, God, God. Genesis pulls us into a sense of reality that is God-shaped and God-filled.” Genesis is all about God because our lives are to be all about God. There was nothing before God, and everything after Him, He created. After Creation, we find God at the center of every reported incident, every life, every struggle, every victory.

Gen. 1:1b – “…the heavens and the earth.”

  • Do you get a little squeamish when people talk about fortune telling and spiritual forces in the dark world? Let this verse calm all your fears. God is the ultimate Creator. Without His creative power, nothing would exist. In heaven above or on this earth or under the earth – our God reigns. He created everything human eyes have seen as well as the worlds science has not yet uncovered. He created the physical world that we taste, touch, see, hear and smell; just as He created the metaphysical world that is beyond our senses. But let there be no mistake. There is one God, and He reigns over His Creation – the heavens and the earth.

Lord, as I have come to know you as my Savior over the years, You’ve become my Friend and my Comforter. It’s been a blessing to know You more intimately each day, but with that intimacy comes a level of familiarity that threatens to diminish my awe of Your power. As I read Your Story, reawaken my awe at Your power and glory.


Melanie Dobson said...

Yea! After all that, you made it to Auckland!! It sounds like it was a memorable cruise (both good and bad), but so glad you were able to go to that beautiful part of the world with your daughters.

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Melanie~
Yep! I'm so thankful for pictures because they remind me of all the "little" joys we had throughout the experience. Now I understand why my mom has been such a stickler for pix all our growing up years! ha!