The Write Word

That Ship Has Sailed

Today my heart took a trip, back to another trip.  Not one I took, but one I wanted to take.  I’d planned it carefully, made all my preperations, told all my friends.  It was going to be glorious, the future seemed like a long, lovely trip on a luxury ship.  But to my dismay, to my hearts bitter dissapointment, that ship sailed.  Without me.

I stood on the pier, ever so long, watching through burning tears as it pulled away from the dock, so close I could reach out and touch it.  I could hear the music playing on the deck, and smell the delicious dinner being set on the tables.  If I closed my eyes I WAS there, but when I opened them, I was alone.

There went my dream, streamers floating in the breeze.  Here I stood, with my luggage, in my traveling dress.  With my ticket in my hand. Hurting. Humiliated.

I wish I could tell you that I turned and wiped my eyes and made the best of it.  But I didn’t.  I stood there on the pier, and grew bitter.  As people passed by I yelled to them of my loss.  I railed against the ship, and the captain, and the crew. I wailed and wept and waved my ticket.  I lamented my loneliness and sat on my luggage.   

I'm not sure how long I would have stayed there, pouting on the pier.  Thankfully a wise one came along and listened to me.  He heard out the sad, sad story of The Ship That Sailed.  He listened while I poured out (again) my tale of woe.  After listening to my lament, of how wrong I’d been done he asked to see my ticket.  Silently, he took out a pen, wrote on it and handed it back.

I took it in hand, looked at what he had seen, that I’d not taken time to see before.  And everything changed.  There, circled in red, was the name of my ship. The Titanic.

What had felt like a crushing blow, was now seen as a beautiful blessing.  What I had mourned with self-pity, was in actuality a preservation.  What I thought would sink me, saved me.

I'm not the only one.  I have seen folks who jump off the pier, swim out to the boat, insist on having their trip at any cost.  Folks who leave their spouse and children on the pier to go chase a dream, a goal.  Folks who leave their integrity behind, jump in another boat and chase off after the ship, only to go down in the whirlpool the sinking ship leaves in it's downward plunge.  They would have been better off to weep, wave, then walk away.

What ship has sailed for you?  What dream do you watch grow distant?  What pier are YOU wasting your time on?  Let me circle something on your ticket.  Look there, below your plans, see Psalms 37:23 written just below it.  The steps of the righteous, are ordered, by God.

Go ahead, unpack your bags, tape your ticket inside your Bible.  Let God bring you through the disappointment.  Let God wash your bitter tears.  Since the steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord, (Psalms 37:23)  you can pick up your bags, march off that pier, head held high.  You did not miss the boat.  Your ship WILL come in.  When it is the right ship, for you.  God's plans for us are so much bigger than our plans.  You can trust Him.  When He steps in, it is because He sees a shipwreck, where we only see a luxury liner.

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