“Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind that our forefathers harnessed before us. Hear the bells ring as the tight rigging sings; it’s a son of a gun of a chorus…I’m just a son of a son, son of a son, son of a son of a sailor. The sea’s in my veins, my tradition remains…”
-Jimmy Buffet, 1978
If you’ve ever seen Jimmy Buffet in concert you know it’s an amazing experience. Jimmy somehow has a way of tapping into the art of “escapism” like few other musicians can do. His concerts can last up to 4 hours. It’s not just a concert, not just a party, it’s an experience! Among the long list of things I’d like to experience before leaving this world are: 1. To see U2 perform in Ireland; 2. To see a Jimmy Buffet concert in The Islands. Either of those would be a dream come true and the utmost in concert utopia for me!
One of the reasons I like Jimmy Buffet so much is because he writes about life on the water. As a small child my mom, step-dad, and I lived on a sailboat. Some of the earliest memories I have are sailing on Lake Pontchartrain and taking summer-long cruises down to Florida via the Gulf of Mexico. My step-dad was the first person to introduce sailing into my life. His passion for the water was contagious and now runs deep within my veins. As a child, I remember being out on the open water listening to Jimmy Buffet’s “Son Of A Son Of A Sailor.” The water is a part of who I am. It’s in my DNA. I love it! It brings me great joy and peace. When life gets crazy, when I need to relax, I sit by the water’s edge or go out on a boat and instantly everything is better. The water is like my Heaven on earth. The wind, the waves, the smell of the salt air, nothing clears my head more than these things.
Jimmy Buffet paints vivid pictures of life on the water. For those of us nautical buffs, Jimmy Buffet’s Songs You Know By Heart CD is a staple in our music library. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent out on the open water listening to that CD.
Aside from seeing U2 in Ireland and Jimmy Buffet in the Islands, I have another dream, one that appears to be coming true right before my very eyes. My children are learning to love the water as much as I do. I’m not forcing it upon them; they just seem to enjoy it naturally. They are constantly asking, “Daddy, can we go to the beach?”, “Daddy, can we go fishing?”, or “Daddy, can we go out on the boat?”.
Recently I experienced a moment far greater than any U2 or Jimmy Buffet concert could ever be. I have a very generous friend that loves to bless my family with the use of his boat. Just the other day we were out on the water, cruising along, listening to Jimmy Buffet. Go figure! My 4-year old son asked if he could take the wheel. I felt such a sense of joy watching him drive that boat. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the perfect song began to play, “Son Of A Son Of A Sailor.” It was a perfect moment in time. A father and his son, out on the open water, the occasional mist off the bow spraying our faces, and the perfect soundtrack playing on the radio. Just like when I was a kid!
I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It was priceless. Not only was it a great moment for me as a father, but also it was a perfect moment of worship with my Heavenly Father. My son was doing exactly what his father desired for him to do and he loved every second of it. Not only was he loving the nautical experience, but he was also loving the fact that he was bringing his father great joy!
I can imagine what those moments are like for God; the times in our lives when we are doing exactly what we are wired to do, loving every minute of it, and being right in the zone of where our Heavenly father wants us to be! To me, that is a perfect picture of worship; the Son imitating the Father and bringing Him tremendous joy.
Do you ever notice that people spend a lot of time trying to be original, trying to express themselves uniquely, and trying so hard to walk to the beat of a different drummer? No matter how hard we try we can’t escape the fact that we are made to reflect God. Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” It is natural for us to reflect our Heavenly Father; it is what we were made to do. We have His DNA flowing through our veins. I love the way the Apostle Paul puts it in Ephesians 5:1, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children.”
So, who are you imitating? Who are you trying to be like? Who’s DNA flows through your veins? Are you operating in the zone of doing what you were wired to do? When’s the last time you felt the joy of the Father upon you?
As for me:
“I’m just a son of a son, son of a son, son of a son of a sailor. The sea’s in my veins, my tradition remains…”