Gary Barkalow of The Noble Heart says that we can become confused if we imagine that life is like a cruise ship when it’s really more like a battleship.
What happens when we board a battleship thinking that we’re going on a pleasure cruise?
We’re expecting to relax in the sun, but the first thing we notice is a conspicuous absence of deck chairs. While roaming the very clean decks we can’t even find any recreational equipment. There are no shuffleboard courts or volleyball nets.
We might think, “Well, we’re here for the food.” But there’s no endless buffet. There’s no feasting on rich fare. There’s no chocolate fountain. We get three squares a day. That’s it. And what’s really annoying is that we can’t even sleep in, because breakfast is served at 5 am (or as they like to say, 0500 hours). And if we miss breakfast, they don’t save us anything.
OK, so we’ve accepted the fact that on this cruise ship, it’s not about the journey, so it must be about the destinations. We expect smooth sailing to peaceful locations with beautiful settings. But this ship repeatedly sails into the most hostile environments. “Hey, they’re shooting at us again! That’s it. Now we’re going to complain.”
As we look for a crew member to whom we might issue our complaint, we notice that all we see are crew members. Come to think of it, we haven’t seen a single other passenger since we boarded this miserable tin can.
That’s when it occurs to us. We’re on a battleship. There’s a war going on. We’re on a mission. There’s an objective. And we have a particular role in this war effort. We’re not passengers. We’re part of the crew.
This discovery changes our perspective. And our realization doesn’t take the fun out of the journey, but actually adds to it. Party cruising makes us numb and leaves us empty. But God’s desire is that we be engaged and alive through participation with Christ in His mission of redemption. Real Life is not amusement, but adventure with a purpose.
With Jesus in command, danger is certain, but victory is guaranteed. In company with Him, life’s about the journey and the destination.
What ship do you think you’re on?