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  • Writer's pictureKeith Johnston

Noah Built An Ark

Here in Connecticut we recently braced for the possible impact of Hurricane Henri, my third hurricane to hit us during band camp in the last decade. Fortunately the storm took a slight wobble to the east and spared us from the brunt of the wind, rain, and flooding. But we prepared for it just in case the worst were to happen.

Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy is a great mantra.


As the Sacred Heart Band prepared for the storm, and as our friends in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast prepare for the impact of Hurricane Ida, I’m reminded of a story about being prepared, and using these events as an opportunity to focus on the future…


Noah’s ark was built for survival, not for sailing, not for exploring, not for making a big journey. Sometimes we need an ark—a safe, dry place to wait out the storms that happen in our lives.


While there may not be a lot of historical truth behind the story, I think we can find some spiritual truth in it.

You know the story. God woke up one day and decided that humans were incapable of living together in peace. So he decided to destroy the whole thing in one big flood, after which he would start the world over.


But before he destroyed everything he found a righteous man, Noah. “Noah was a righteous man in his generation,” Genesis says. God told Noah to build an ark, 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high.


The design for Noah’s ark didn’t include a sail—there was no rudder, no anchor, no compass; a strange design for such a big boat on such an important mission—the mission was to preserve life on earth!


The big boat was not built to go anywhere—it was built for shelter from the storm--forty days and nights of heavy rain.


After the rains, Noah sent a dove to search for dry land, but the dove came back empty handed, so to speak. This happened a few times, until one day the dove finally found a fresh olive branch, indicating that the water had receded, so they could begin the task of rebuilding.


The olive branch is an emblem of peace. God also put a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of making peace with humanity, through Noah.


Sometimes storms can be violent and uncover things we’d rather not see. Both literal sights we’d rather not see, as well as truths about ourselves we’d rather bury and ignore. Sometimes those storms uncover great things though. Things that are inside us that we never would have discovered if we hadn’t going through the ordeal in the first place.


After the storm passes it will take time to clean up, and life to return to normal.


But my hope for you is that after the storm you’ll all emerge from your own ark, and you will have discovered something new inside yourself. And that whether it turns out to be a monster storm, or just a lot of rain and wind, that when it’s over you’ll find your own olive branch, you’ll look up and see a rainbow, and your desire to do something will be even more energized.

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