by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
My husband, Nathan, and I just returned from a cruise to the Dominican Republic. Boarding the ship, Nathan joked about sailing through the Bermuda Triangle. Within hours those jokes seemed prophetic as our ship suddenly listed (tilted) to one side nearly 20 degrees. Dishes were crashing, and people were screaming as chaos and panic spread throughout the ship. Within a few moments, the ship righted itself, but many of us spent the rest of the evening carrying our life jackets.
By the next morning, we had an explanation. The ship had a technical difficulty with one of the fin stabilizers. According to Carnival, we were never in danger, and they gave each passenger $50 onboard spending money as compensation. Nathan and I knew we had a choice to make. Would we accept the compensation, and get on with having a great vacation, or would we pitch a fit and let it ruin our trip? We chose fun. Evidently, we weren’t the only ones, because the rest of the cruise went off without a hitch, and everyone we talked to was having a blast.
Imagine my surprise when we got to dry land and saw this incident was national news. Even more surprising was the comments made to reporters by our fellow passengers as they disembarked. They were talking about how awful the experience was and trash talking the cruise line for ruining their trip. We also saw on the news the entire listing incident had only lasted 1 minute. For 1 minute of bad, these people were saying it had ruined their whole week. So goes the fickle ways of man.
I remember a client who was receiving counseling for a series of personal tragedies once told me, “You know, the horrible things in life are few and far between. Those phone calls telling you about a loss really don’t happen that often. It’s our reaction to them that lasts a lifetime.” I guess to some people a 1-minute incident can have the power to ruin an entire vacation. I don’t want to be one of those people.
It says in Romans 8:35-39 that nothing in this life can ever separate us from the love of God we find in Christ Jesus. Even in the midst of trouble, calamity, danger, or when threatened with death, we are still held in God’s love. What’s the worst that can happen if you are a believer? Even the end is not the end, because we are safe in God’s love.
I think that the cruise ship experience was a lot like my life as a Christian. All of my needs were met on board, and the Captain, Cruise Director, and crew went out of their way to ensure my pleasure and safety. Even when it felt like I wasn’t safe, I was. Yet, while the crew was able to supply all of my needs, they were not capable of dictating how I reacted to the trip. That was left up to me.
For myself and my husband, we chose to overlook the negative and focus on the positive. We were pampered, ate great food, went to amazing ports, and had on heck of an adventure, listing and all! And that is precisely how I want to view this life God gave me. An amazing adventure. And while it may be peppered by occasional peril, I am always safe in the ocean of God’s grace. And if you go looking for us this time next year, don’t be surprised if you find us “out to sea,” because we are already planning our next cruise on the same cruise line.