Aug 14, 2013

Bobby Graves Fulfills His Calling . . . Four Decades Late

Sitting tall in the Captain’s chair in the wheelhouse of a beautiful 60’ trawler, navigating nowhere with the boat up on the rails for yearly maintenance, Bobby Graves (“Cap’n. Bobby") began describing the dream of his 12-year old self.  And it didn’t include fishing.
I thought Bobby was going to relate a life-long dream to fish commercially, so I was surprised with his story.

"When I was 12 years old," he said, “I had a vision of Christ beside me on the couch.  He reached out, touched me and said ‘I want you to be my messenger.’”  Then Bobby nodded at me with a smile and continued, “Truth is, we are all supposed to be His messengers.”

And that’s how Bobby Graves’ stories always lead his listeners to the cross.  Everything he talks about becomes a spiritual lesson.  He sails under the Christian flag so even if he kept his mouth shut (as if!), you would still get the picture.....

One time recently he was telling me about his new computers.  Full of excitement, he said, “One of the computers shows my boat on the map and I can watch the nets dragging behind me.  If they catch on something, I can mark the spot and avoid getting stuck on it again.”  And then the hook, I could feel it coming,
“Life should be like that.  We should mark the places that trip us up and avoid them on the next go-round.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t do that, do we?”

With the nets hanging all around us, I breathe in the scents that perhaps the original followers of Christ smelled as they talked with Christ or about Christ at the sea’s edge.

“The very next day Mama took me to see the preacher,” Graves continued his saga.  “I had just gotten baptized.  He said I was awfully young, I should wait and see.” 

I frowned.  The wait-and-see attitude washes over most God chasers like a riptide.  I don’t want to hear about the wait-and-see Bobby Graves, I already know it’s not a pretty picture.

He continued,
“My focus came away from wanting to do what God had asked me to do, but I still maintained that memory forever.  Every day.  Satan is out there trying to mes us all up and he did a good job trying to mess me up.  Because I didn’t follow the good, just the bad -- simple, short and sweet:   I became an outlaw.

God pulled Bobby Graves back to him, but it took a few decades. And he did become a commercial fisherman and he did become that messenger God called him to be.  But he did it the hard way.

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