"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Trivial Lesson from the Titanic


It’s almost been 100 years since the Titanic sank to the floor of the Northern Atlantic Ocean. In my opinion, Titanic is easily one of the most heartbreaking stories in North American history. Titanic was known to be “A Palace on Water”, a “Gift of the Gods”, and “Unsinkable.” But if Titanic was a palace it was very fragile, if it was a gift from the gods the gods didn’t shop very long for the perfect “gift”, and it certainly wasn’t unsinkable. Some have even said, “The great thing about the Titanic is there will never be a sequel!” In the early hours of the morning on April 12th, 1912, Titanic struck an iceberg. And in 2 hours and 40 minutes, it was completely submerged. 2223 people were travelling on the ship, and only 706 survived. (1,517 people died!) When the story reached the newspapers, it covered EVERY front page. It even trumped the grand opening of Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox, which held its first game that same day. It was the “Pearl Harbor”, the “JFK assassination”, the “9/11” of the early 1900’s.

But do you know the REAL story? Louise Patten, an accomplished author and a granddaughter of a Titanic officer, brought some crucial details to the table. Apparently, when the ship industry made the transition from sails to steam, there were two different steering systems. Robert Hitchins was on duty and steering the ship when Titanic struck the iceberg. When he saw the iceberg, he panicked and he steered the wrong way. By the time he realized what he had done, it was too late to steer the ship to safety! Louise Patten also gave us a few more details from her grandfather, who attended an emergency meeting with all of Titanic’s officers before the ship sank. According to Patten, J. Bruce Ismay, the CEO of White Star Line which owned Titanic, persuaded the captain of Titanic to keep sailing, even though they had struck the iceberg. Years later, Patten’s grandfather made this statement: “If Titanic had stood still, she would have survived until the rescue ship came and no one would have died.”

What a tragedy! If Titanic would have waited for help, just think how many more innocent people would have lived! I can’t guarantee this new information is 100% credible, but what a lesson it teaches us! When we are faced with problems, and then when we strike the iceberg, we want to keep “sailing” and rescue ourselves. How much “safer” would we be if we grasped for God? How much “stronger” would we be if we sought after the Savior? How much “calmer” would we be if we waited on the Lord?

Let the Titanic teach you a trivial lesson. Don’t keep “sailing”; just wait! The LORD will come to the rescue!