Monday, September 17, 2007

Ready to launch

What a great weekend. Last week, blog reader Pam Benjamin of Sense of Wonder invited us down to the launch of the 50' schooner Charlotte on Martha's Vineyard, the island alongside of Nantucket just south of Cape Cod.

I've lived in the Boston area for a total of about 15 years at different periods of my life, but I'd never been to the Vineyard. So, I thought I'd be spontaneous and go. At first I was going to go alone, then some random circumstances (always a risk with teenagers) made me realize it would be better to bring my son along. And then, we didn't have a place to stow the dog, so lo and behold, little Max came, too. On the ferry and everything. I can't believe I've turned into a person who travels with a dog.

Charlotte was designed and built by Pam's husband Nat of Gannon & Benjamin. It's a gorgeous piece of work, all wood, lovingly constructed, gracious, sound. The ceremony this weekend, attended by roughly two hundred supporters on the Vineyard, marked the occasion of the hull's first run into the water. Christened after Nat's grandmother, Charlotte was blessed by acknowledgements, prayer, song, and the sprinkling of water from all around the island by a host of the Benjamin grandchildren before dipping gracefully into the harbor and traveling under motor around several friendly boats waiting nearby. We all then got to climb aboard in bare feet to investigate above and below deck. Truly thrilling.

I left with a renewed appreciation for the concept of "launch." Significant launches mark our culture in many ways—from births, weddings, graduations to bon voyage parties to barn raisings to spaceships. I know from personal experience as well that when you push the "on" button to a Website, it's known as a launch. We've woven these ceremonies into our lexicon as a way to take a moment after all the preparation is done to bless the results of all our hard work and give the increase to the world.

To me, a successful launch implies that the thing we're launching will take on a life of its own. It's no longer "ours," but has its own identity and purpose. We've done whatever handiwork required to set it up physically, but it's the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects that take over once the deed is done. Before launch, we work to assemble, organize, schedule. After launch, we become mere participants in the larger thing that sprang forth from our efforts.

It's the creation story all over again. God's creation, happening in an instant and for all eternity, is both done and unfolding now. The unfolding sense is our own growing appreciation of it, but creation itself has been complete since conceptualization. God's ideas don't remain theoretical. When He thinks it, it is done.

You and I are that creation, and we reflect the Creator when we conceptualize and realize the new idea. Then, we launch it forth, and delight in all that it can accomplish as it sails to its own destiny.


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3 Comments:

At 9/17/2007 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Kate said...

What fun!!! My brother Shawn (who coincidentally was married on Saturday) worked with Nat Benjamin...Shawn is a wood hull boat builder and sea captain...and he and I are the two siblings (out of the eight) who both have our captain's licenses...so this is a wonderfully fun piece to be able to share with him as he and Amy launch out into new waters as husband and wife... love you..hope you had a wonderful time on one of my most favorite islands on earth...did you get to sing, dance, swim???

 
At 9/17/2007 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were there too, but missed seeing you; we were far out on the dock so could get photos of Charlotte in the water. It was a lovely, loving event.
-ObiDon

 
At 9/17/2007 08:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To get an idea of its size I took a look at a 50’ schooner on Google Images. Saw a healthy looking one with three masts, in full sail.

Laura said in her Blog today, towards the ending: “To me, a successful launch implies that the thing we're launching will take on a life of its own. It's no longer ‘ours,’ but has its own identity and purpose. We've done whatever handiwork required to set it up physically, but it's the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects that take over once the deed is done. Before launch, we work to assemble, organize, schedule. After launch, we become mere participants in the larger thing that sprang forth from our efforts.”

This got me to thinking of the “launching” God did in the beginning through his Word. When God said at the beginning of creation, “Let there be light,” God’s Word was launched as light; when God said, “Let there be a firmament,” God’s Word was launched as firmament as well; when God said, “Let the dry land appear…” God’s Word was launched as the dry land that appeared. What God speaks into existence becomes Truth in God’s Creation.

Then when things didn’t work out so well in God’s earthly vineyard because man, created in God’s image and likeness, was not behaving in the likeness intended … God launched His Word again, saying to Himself, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7). And Jesus was begotten into the vineyard, Fathered by God, and mothered by Mary.

God, in a sense - my thought anyway - “launched” Jesus into being by speaking His Word (speaking both to his Word, which is Himself, and through his Word, which is what Himself thinks), saying, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.” And, in obedience to God’s expressed Thought-Word, “The Word was made flesh [human] and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Fortunately for us, a “begotten” Son of God is not the same being as a “created” offspring of God.

Jesus was launched as a baby: with God as his Father (Spirit) and Mary (human ego) as his mother. Then came the soon to be answered question: Which part of Jesus’ mind would be sitting on Jesus’ inner mental throne? Mortal mind? Or divine mind? We can read what happened – according to the Bible - at Phil 2:5-8:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God [God’s own launched Word], thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Then I got to thinking about the “launching” of the now glorified Christ into our mind as part of our self when we start to study and contemplate spiritual science.

Laura said: “You and I are that creation, and we reflect the Creator when we conceptualize and realize the new idea. Then, we launch it forth, and delight in all that it can accomplish as it sails to its own destiny.”

Our destiny in following Christ, I surmise, is to humble ourselves before God’s good Will … and to become obedient unto death. Jesus did say, you may recall, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” With Christ’s ongoing help we will likely … do likewise.

Amen.

 

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