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Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:37 (NKJV)

Value is not always determined by how much something is worth.

Almost ten years ago, two friends and I took my 14-foot boat out on the lake.  Actually, it was the very first time Iíd launched the boat after moving to New Mexico.  One of the men from the church offered to go with me to show me some good fishing spots at a lake near where his father lived.  We swung by his fatherís house, picked him up and the three of us were among the first fisherman to launched onto lake that crisp spring morning. 

I noticed we were riding a little bit low as we idled away from the dock, but I didnít give it a second thought.  To tell you the truth, I was too excited about being on the lake to be paying attention to the dangers that surrounded us.

At the time I weighted almost 300 pounds and I was probably the lightest of the three.  I didnít do the math at the time, but in hindsight, Iím absolutely positive that we weighed more than the 800 pounds the small wooden craft was rated for, especially when you factor in the weight of three batteries and all the gear we had onboard.

 Before I could notice that we were taking on water, I was swimming to the shore.  We went back to Danís parentís house to decide what to do next.  I felt just awful.  I hated the thought of losing my boat because it had been a good friend to me for many years, but really, losing the boat wasnít what was eating away at me.  I knew there was a chance that with some help from the army corps of engineers, we could pull the boat out of the lake, what was bothering me was that I had an old reel that my grandfather and left to me in the boat.  Oh I couldnít get 75 cents for the thing at a garage sale, but to me, it was priceless.  Whenever I fished with it, it was like I was in Grumpís old aluminum boat again on an Oklahoma pond.  I was sick about losing it.

 We stood on the shore and watched as the engineers pulled my boat to shore.  It was a mess.  As I started evaluating the damage, I noticed a hook caught in the carpet with a line still attached to it.  I pulled on the line and felt a substantial weight on the other end.  Hand over hand; I pulled on the line until I retrieved out my rod with Grumpsí reel attached. 

 My boat was severely damaged, requiring hundreds of dollars of repair work.  Conservatively speaking, I probably deposited $300.00+ worth of tackle on the bottom of the lake that day, but I got out with the only real things of value.  Our lives, and an old fishing reel.

 Like I said, value isnít always determined by how much something is worth. 

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