How Long Was Noah in the Ark?

378 Days at least that’s the consensus of most of the sites I was able to google this morning.
And I know, it’s not usually my style to answer questions of “facts” that can be easily looked up. Frankly, it’s not in your style to ask them. Late2Church has a pretty tech-saavy and thoughtful readership. But, I’ve been feeling like I need to do an obligatory Noah post. You know. Because of the flood.
Official estimates on the total number of people displaced by this weekend’s floods are still on the rise, but it seems unlikely that they will be more than 1.5 million. Make no mistake, that’s A LOT OF PEOPLE. And mere words cannons begin to describe the total human cost that this represents. But what this figure also means is that for the vast majority of Houstonians, the experience of Hurricane Harvey will be a colossal . . .  inconvenience. Days spent worrying about the potential for the worst followed by weeks or even months of greater or lesser inconvenience. Life will not go back to normal for a long time around here. Closed schools, closed workplaces, closed roads and closed stores will become the norm. And we will have to wait for things to improve.
The discipline of waiting, therefore, is what makes me think of Noah during this second stage of the storm. My family and I, along with our animals, have now been together in our house for about 5 days, solid now. Things are, shall we say, edgy. I am having trouble imagining what life would have been like for Noah and his family in the hull of the Ark for the better part of the year.
Yet, deep down I know that waiting is one of the foundational skills of the life of faith. As my grandmother use to say “patience is a virtue.” It is a virtue, in fact that is foundational to many of the other virtues that we seek to develop in the life of faith. If we can learn to be patient with each other, patient with ourselves and patient even with God, we will take the time to cultivate the Faith and Hope and Love tat we know to be the halmark of full human flourishing.
And so Houston waits, as Noah waited. The rain will stop. The Sun will come out again and life will return to normal. But by God’s grace, the new normal for our community will be one improved by our collective practice of patience, of waiting.
Stay Dry Friends.

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