We have all heard the saying about being in the “Same Boat.” One interpretation of this is “be in the same unfortunate circumstances as others.” I am sure you have used this phrase.
I was recently reading a blog by Seth Godin entitled “You’re Surrounded.” The premise is that most of life’s experiences are on a local or regional basis, but that for the past 4-6 weeks, that is not the case. Here is a quote from that blog:
“The thing is, the troubles were local and unique. It was easy to walk away from our drama, at least for a moment, because someone else, everyone else, had something else they were dealing with.
For the last month, that hasn’t been true. For anyone.
You can’t avoid it, can’t walk away from it and have to work to put it in perspective, because every interaction comes with someone else amplifying the story.
At the same time the echo chamber around us magnifies our story, we also have the solace of knowing that truly, it’s us.
The boat is really, really big and we’re all in it.
This is a slog, and there will be another side. It is unevenly distributed, it’s a tragedy and it’s a challenge. But we’re in it together and with care and generosity, we can find perspective, possibility and hope.”
We are all in the same boat. But not all “boat” experiences are bad. They do not have to end like the Titanic.
As I sat and reflected on this blog, I was struck by the reminder of 3 other significant “boat” experiences that had significant eternal impact.
First...there was this guy Noah. He was Godly. He was ridiculed by his peers for taking early action (sound familiar) and yet God spoke to him and used him and his incredible boat to redeem and restore this world. That is a pretty significant “boat” experience, wouldn’t you agree?
Second...there was this dude named Jonah. Remember him? Check out this translation of his story from the New Living Translation:
“But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.” Jonah 1:4
“Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold.” Jonah 1:5 NLT
“Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.” Jonah 1:15-16 NLT
Third...we need to refer to Luke 8:22-25. Jesus and his disciples are in...you know it...a boat. Up pops a storm (or virus) and the disciples are scared and shaken. But not Jesus. That (and this) storm did not take him by surprise...heck...he created it.
Verse 24 and the first part of 25 says it all:
“The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm. “Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” Luke 8:24-25a NLT
I see some significant similarities and lessons.
- In each story, they were all in the same boat
- There was a great storm with unsettling unknowns
- The storm had significant impact on life and limb
- God was in the center of each storm
- God was in the boat too
- The storm ceased and things got back to “normal”
We are all in the same boat. There is a significant storm with great uncertainty. God is in the boat with use...in fact it is HIS boat. The storm will cease.