The Island

An Old Story Retold...Because the Original was WAY too Boring

Lone Island with Rocky Cliff Shoreline Everyone was down at the docks, and the cargo loaded. It was a risky endeavor to start out this late, but they had done it before...when it started to rain.

It was almost midnight when the 22 men boarded the huge ship. The year was 1695, and it would be a ten hour journey in rough seas before they reached their destination. A large village 60 miles away, where they would barter and sell their gun powder, tobacco and animal skins.

Sailing vessel being tossed in the rough water

Just four hours into the voyage, the men encountered unimaginable seas, with waves as hight as 8-feet. It was all the men could do to keep the ship in one piece. The captain was seconds away from declaring, "All hands on deck!"

The sails were being ripped by the ferocious winds and the ship was now completely off course. They were being pushed toward an island and it's jagged outcropping of rocks. "Lower the main!", the captain shouted. The crewmen all had a look of concern on their faces. They couldn't believe how fast the weather had changed.

Frantically, three of the men ran over to start taking down the mainsail so the wind would no longer have the advantage. They had barely reached the main sail, when another strong gust of wind increased the ship's speed. It was too late, the thousand ton ship was approaching 8-knots as it slammed into the jagged rocks. Six of the men died instantly as the barrels of gun powder that were stacked on the lower port side of the ship ignited... blowing most of the lower bow off. Shrapnel pierced what was left of the sails, killing even more men on the upper deck.

What was left of the ship, sank. Several other men drown as they were trapped in the lower stern of the ship in their sleeping quarters unable to budge the door that was now wedged shut by one of the cross beams of the rearward mast. Two other men, who were blown into the water by the initial explosion, ended up face down in the water. They both had superficial cuts on their face and a couple broken fingers, but they would live.

Slowly, the two men started swimming towards the edge of the island. The two men couldn't believe what had just happened. They waited on the beach of the cove for over half an hour, until they determined that they were the only survivors. Twenty men dead in the blink of an eye. The two men were grateful to be alive, but a sense of fear overwhelmed them, as they both understood that the island was now their home.

Desperation set in moments later, as they came to the realization that literally nothing was salvageable from the now submerged shipwreck. On top of that,...nobody know they were there.

The two men knew each other before they set sail, but only casually. They knew each other's names, but that was about it. After tending their wounds, and talking for a couple of hours about all that had just happened, one of the men whispered under his breath, “We're gonna have to pray ourselves out of this one!” “So, you're a man of faith and believer in Christ?” the other man asked. “Of course.” Well then, we have one thing in common at least. The two men decided to test out the power of prayer.

“I'll live on the west side of the island, and you live on the east side,” one said, “We'll see if our prayers will truly be granted.” The other man agreed, and after a brief goodbye, they set off to survive on their own sides of the island. “Wait!” the same man shouted as the other was walking away. “If it comes down to life or death and you need something that I might have, come over to my side and I'll help you out, and vice versa.” The man agreed.

The man on the west side of the island knelt and prayed for food and shelter. He began wandering and found a warm dry cave, suitable for a home. It was just his luck that the entrance of the cave was surrounded with banana and coconut trees, mushrooms, berries and plenty of wild goats.

Delighted, the man began building himself a fire with a flint he still had in his pocket. He made a bed and then a chair, and became quite comfortable as he sat down to eat.

Man praying on the beach The other man on the east side, found himself on the part of the island covered with thick prickly vines with no safe place to stay. He found part of another old boat that had washed ashore and used the wood planks for an uneven, uncomfortable bed. In the morning, he found just enough berries to feel half-full. Minutes later, he went down to the edge of the island by the water, to pray.

The man on the west side woke up, and felling quite thirsty, prayed for water to drink. As he wandered around, he found a cool spring of crystal-clear water. He drank and bathed in the beautiful pure water. The man on the east side found no water and felt himself weakened with thirst.

He was able to eventually collect rain water and sometimes would find coconuts high in trees that provided enough hydration to live. Thankful that he was still alive, the man returned the next morning down to the shore of the island, to pray.

The next day, the man living on the west side, prayed for companionship. Just as he opened his eyes, two birds came to him. One landing on his shoulder and the other on a branch in front of him. The two birds sang non-stop and would eat out of his hand each morning.

The man on the east side, had the company of spiders crawling on him as he slept, and they would often get into his food supply. Nonetheless, the man was thankful that he was still alive.

After a year of living comfortably on the island, the other man couldn't help but wonder about the man on the east side. He never came by, so obviously he was fine and didn't need any help. At least that's what the man wanted to tell himself. That night the man decided he needed new clothes. “I need to pray specifically.” he said to himself. He prayed to God for a way in which to make clothes.

Three days later, as he was exploring his side of the island, he found cotton plants in the middle of a clearing and plants to make dye out of. He wove them into shirts and pants and dyed them in a rainbow of colors. After a couple of weeks of harvesting the cotton and squeezing the dye out of the plants the man now had enough clothes for each day of the week.

The other man, whose salt-soaked smelly garments got torn to bits long ago, was so desperate that he tried to make himself clothes from the bush. Nothing worked. Clothes weren’t an option anymore, as just finding enough food day-to-day, was his only priority. It was extremely difficult, but the man was staying alive. Again in the morning, the man walked down to the edge of the water, to pray.

It had been well over a year when the fortunate man on the west side of the island, became very worried about the other man, and decided to walk to the east side of the island to check on him. As he approached what he believed to be the man's living area, he was shocked to see that the man had nearly nothing. A crooked bed, a shelter made out of palm branches and bamboo and a wooden spear he had made for fishing.

As he was witnessing what little the man truly had, he saw the man swimming in the ocean,...happy and singing, without a care in the world. Shocked but satisfied, the man shrugged his shoulders and returned to the west side of the island to resume living his blessed lifestyle.

Animated image of calendar pages being torn away

Finally, after about two years, the man got bored with his abundant life on the island and decided to try and get back home. So he prayed for a boat. The next day, to his amazement, he spotted an old abandoned boat about a hundred yards down the shore that had washed up on the beach. It was fully functional with no holes in it and two oars. The man looked up and thanked God. He packed up all of the things that he had made and got ready to get into the boat.

God speaking from Heaven Just then, he heard a voice. It was coming from somewhere around him but he could not pinpoint where. “I have given you much.” the voice said. The man instantly knew it was God. “Thank you Lord!...thank you for supplying my needs.” the man said. God replied, “Don't you think you should bring your friend with you?,..he has suffered much over these two years.”

The man was already in the boat and rowing away from the island, but the voice was still clear, if not clearer than it had been on the beach. He had completely forgotten about the other man on the east side of the island over the last few months. Irritated at the question, the man said, “Lord, why should I do that? He and I made a deal to try out the power of prayer and it looks like I won. You answered all of my prayers.” “I lived very well and he suffered. He either didn't have enough faith or wasn't specific enough in his prayers. So why bother helping someone so unworthy,...he probably lost faith in you.” God said, “Your friend is just as worthy of getting off of this island as you are.” Laughing, the man asked God, “How is he worthy of leaving the island?...clearly you answered my prayers and not his, I am with all my possessions in this boat, heading home, and he is still there suffering. “But I did answer his prayers.” the Lord replied. “I gave him the one thing he prayed for.” “He only prayed for one thing for the entire 2 years?...what a fool he was!” the man shouted. “He clearly didn't pray enough! You have to tell me Lord, what did he pray for?” “He prayed every morning by the shore,...that you would get everything you asked for.”

Man sitting on a rock by the ocean praying



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