Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes.' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be.
--Thomas S. Monson
Sunday, April 15, 2012
The Titanic and Our Iceburgs
symbolic of pride
This spoke to me. I've hit my own ice berg.
His name is Jason and he left me to sink.
On the 100th anniversary
of the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic, the world is abuzz with Life
Lessons using the Titanic as the object lesson or Metaphor for such
rewarding opportunities to ponder "What If?" or looking back asking,
"What would I have done?' or 'How could I learn from this tragedy, even
100 years later?"
Humility would be a good
starter lesson: She was labeled 'unsinkable'! And because she was,
certain precautions were not taken. Speed, insufficient life boats,
safety procedures are just a few symptoms of the arrogance that
accompanies Pride when one thinks they are 'unsinkable'.
Goliath should have won
his battle with his small 'iceberg' but he took for granted his size and
'unsinkableness' and his Pride and Arrogance were his undoing.
David, should have
learned from the down fall of Goliath but instead he perpetuated the
'unsinkable' attitude and lingered on the balcony instead of running
like his cousin Joseph of Egypt.
I recently read the
farewell words of one of our missionary assistants where he acclaimed
his 'unsinkable' testimony, but reading his words 25 years later was
with great sadness as I know from his family that he has abandoned both
his family and his church. He found his iceberg and it took him down.
I met just today with a
wonderful and faithful latter-day Saints mother who, along with her
husband, did all the expected LDS things with her family during the
growing up years; church, scouting, early morning seminary, family home
evening, family prayer, positive attitude, scripture reading...and with
confidence they believed their kids to be 'unsinkable' only to watch
some of them leave home and sink as they ran into the icebergs of
education before they could get planted in the mission field. They
grieve and wonder what more they could have done to 'warn' of the
frozen waters and icebergs they were surely going to face? They are not
alone as they ask the "What if..." questions.
This nation, the
greatest ever 'born', has been a beacon of hope for the world and for
the last 60 years, she seemed unsinkable. A Land of Opportunity. A
land of hope for anyone who with some education, a Christian set of
values and the desire to 'get up early and work hard' could 'find their
oil' and take it to the bank. An unstoppable formula for success.
But we have scrapped up against some icebergs along the way, punctured
our armor and are heading for the 'big one' because we have let Pride
and our Arrogance lead us to believe that 'there is an easier way to
live the American Dream. We don't have to get up as early or work as
hard and worst of all, many now believe that the American Dream is an
ENTITLEMENT. Our leader smirks and makes light of our massive and
unstoppable debt and preaches the doctrine of 'fairness' that he says
will fix the leaks and tells us the 'big one' ahead is not so big and
for us to TRUST him and he will lead us to the promised land where we
can all enjoy the beach. The scary part is that many are 'dancing on the
deck' while the double walls have been breached and icy water is
slowing sinking the ship.
I'm so thankful for my
parents who poured the foundation of 'getting up early and hard work'; a
pre-mission education with an Institute across the street to keep some
balance in my 'pursuit of education'; a mission president who gave me
the rest of the formula for success; a wife who was grounded in the
things that mattered most and wanted nothing else in her life; an
opportunity to be mentored by humble, but successful people who knew
where the icebergs were and kept me focused on a course to avoid them. Take
anyone of those 'pieces' of my life away and there is a incredible
chance my ship too would have sunk before it got through the ice fields
of life. My early Foundation, my Mission and the Formula for Success, my
Education, my Spouse, my Family, my Mentors, the Books I read, the
Callings we've accepted, the Invitations we've received, the Failures we
experienced and even the Successes we have had - each has played a
significant part in providing the radar defense to warn of impending
doom ahead - icebergs if you will - and have helped us steer clear of
1,500 people died 100
years ago as a reminder to me, my family and to my friends that there is
danger ahead and if the warnings are ignored they will certainly sink
any ship that arrogantly believes they can move forward, full steam
ahead, oblivious of the destruction that await us.
I'm fearful that too
many of us are, like David, watching from the safety of our balcony,
the majesty of a rapidly approaching iceberg and not realizing that what
we see is only the tip and before we know it, it could be too late and
as the band plays on we might not get a seat on one of the few life
Thankfully most of us
who are reading this are not like David, but are more like Joseph and
have put on our running shoes, swim suit and thermals and are already
sitting in one of the lifeboats and will enjoy the orchestra music as we
are lowered into the sea and will safely await the Rescue. And
thankfully there is still time to get more into the lifeboats and to
find a new captain who knows what's ahead.
Man the Lifeboats...
Bro Jim (A church member in Hawaii that served with my Uncle and Uunt Mckell on their mission to BYU-Hawaii)