A small miracle happened last week. Diane and I retreated to the banks of the Chatta- hoochee River in northern Hall County for a week of rest and relaxation. We made our vacation destination just a few miles from where I was born and lived the first nine years of my life. Before I get to the minor miracle, consider the back story.
Beautiful Lake Sidney Lanier opened dur- ing the same year as I made my earthly debut (1956), so I’ve always felt a certain affinity for that body of wa- ter. Its headwaters reached their way to within a long stone’s throw from where we lived. So, my parents, like many in Hall County in the late 50’s and early 60’s, purchased a boat and we regularly made our way to the lake for family outings. My earli- est memories involve trips to the lake with friends and cousins who also had boats. I learned to ski by the time I was five or six years old and could swim faster than I could run. In the summers we would go to the lake almost every weekend.
We usually arrived at the lake early Saturday afternoon and would stay until dark. On Sundays we were in Sunday School and worship every Sunday. Then, we raced home, hooked up the boat and headed to the lake, where we enjoyed the picnic mom had prepared early that morning. We returned from the lake just in time to make it back to “Training Union” and Sunday evening worship. Afterwards, our house would fill up with the friends from the church. There we made homemade ice cream and the parents stayed up past midnight enjoying fellowship. Those are precious memories for me.
Those memories are part of what led Diane and I to make a pivotal life decision in early 1983, only a few months after I had completed Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. My first place of full time ministry was in Buford, Georgia where the Dam for Lake Lanier is located. Remembering only the good times and the joy of boating with my family, we bought a boat! It was a cold February day when we drove back from Brown’s Bridge Marine in Gainesville to our home near Lake Lanier.
Including the summer of 1983 we have enjoyed boating on Lakes: Lanier, Hartwell, Russell, Wedowee, Blackshear, Tobe- sofkee, Allatoona, Weiss, Jackson, Sinclair, Nottely, Oconee and Blue Ridge. I can faithfully report that our boat broke down at least once in every vacation from 1983 through the summer of 2012 and on most of those lakes referenced above.
Finally, at the end of 2012, we bought another boat, believing that our misfortune with boats had turned, only in 2013 to have run over a submerged tree requiring an overhaul of outdrive. We also replaced the starter, battery, & horn. Later last summer we pulled out Jet Ski to St. Simon’s Island and the St. John’s River, where its engine died, requiring a complete rebuild.
And now for the small miracle (?): We enjoyed both the boat and the jet ski this vacation and they both performed flawlessly! NO BREAKDOWNS AND NO REPAIRS NEEDED! Ain’t God Good!