Last night, a certain news story peaked my interest. Evidently there was a cruise ship that ran into some bad weather, causing it to tip and sway. This interested me because, for the first time, I have actually begun to consider traveling somewhere other than the mountains or beach. Risk-taker or adventure-seeker, I am not.
The idea of a cruise seemed a safer, easier way to test the waters—no pun intended. Suffice it to say, I was particularly attentive when I heard the newscaster mention “distressed passengers.” I tuned in.
The cell phone video footage showed the inside of the boat at a slant. There was scattered debris. A woman was in the floor being comforted by her friends. She looked as if she were having a panic attack. The newscaster said that some reports estimated the ship’s tilt at 45 degrees. I’m sure it was a terrifying experience.
But what got me was when one passenger said, “It was like being on the Titanic!”
Of course, I wasn’t there; so, I wouldn’t really know. I also wasn’t on the Titanic. Still I think I can make a few comparisons. The Titanic had a great big hole in it. The Titanic sunk. A lot of people died on the Titanic. This ship was still intact and afloat. No one died. In fact, at the time of the report everyone who experienced any form of injury had been “treated and released.” Was it really like being on the Titanic?
I’m sure, to that particular passenger, it felt like it.
Sometimes that’s how I feel. I feel like I’m sinking. I feel like I’m dying. I feel like all hope is lost. I feel like I’m on the Titanic, but I am not.
Don’t get me wrong. Things can be bad. Things can be scary. Things can be dangerous even. But I have a tendency to exaggerate my feelings. In fact, I have a tendency to concentrate too much on my feelings all together. Instead, Christ tells me to do something different. He tells me to think.
What am I supposed to think about? Things that are true, things that are honorable, things that are right. Things that are pure, lovely, admirable. Things that are excellent and praiseworthy. (Philippians 4:8)
The beauty of a sunset. The joy of a baby’s laugh. The faithfulness of a good friend. The love of a family member. The grace and mercy of our Savior.
And you know what? When I start thinking about those types of things, an amazing thing happens.
No matter what storm is raging around me, my heart is at peace. My emotions tend to imitate what I think. And I find that I’m not on the Titanic anymore. Really, I never was.