Can the Titanic have anything to teach us about Christianity? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.
Today, my wife and I spent all day in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area and the first place we stopped at was the Titanic Museum. We wish to thank our friend Michelle Fahidy, who let us come in for a month designed to apppreciate those in ministry and also provided us with a copy of a book by someone who was speaking there who tells the story of one man on the Titanic and how his faith impacted him. She told us that the man who wrote the book decided to into ministry upon hearing about this story.
When my wife and I came up there, we were each given a boarding pass to represent someone who was on the ship. My wife got Kate Herman, who was supposedly 24 at the time when she got on the ship. (The pass we got said 24 though the online information seems a bit different.) I got Lawrence Beesley, who I got told was 34. That was quite odd for both of us seeing as at the time of writing this, my wife is 24 and I am 34. Even more amusing is that Lawrence was an avid reader who when he heard the ship was going down went back to the cabin to get his books.
Yeah. Sounds like yours truly here.
The museum has several artifacts from the Titanic and you are given a listening device at the start. When you see a number written somewhere, you key it in and you can hear a recorded account concerning what you are seeing. Sometimes, you can hear some added commentary if you push in additional numbers that are given to you during a recording. There are even numbers that can be used for youth.
When you get to the iceberg part, things change drastically. Immediately, the atmosphere is colder to match what happened. You can put your hand in the water which is set at 28 degrees. Why that temperature? Because that’s supposed to be the temperature of the water the night the Titanic hit and sunk. I could hardly bear having my hand in such water for a minute, and I wanted to have it in as long as I could to impress my wife. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to have to stay floating in that water.
So what does this have to do with Christianity?
A number of people got on that boat expecting to get to their destination safely. After all, it was unsinkable. A number of ministers were on the boat and as the ship went down, they were urging people to get right with God and giving away their life jackets and seats in the life boats. There were husbands and wives that refused to part at all and if one died, the other died as well. The ship that was supposed to be safe due to being unsinkable was not.
Of course, a lesson we get out of that immediately is pride. 1 John warns us about the pride of life. None of us is promised another day normally and too many of us have the idea that we are too big to fail. We are not. We are all prone to various weaknesses and struggles. Some thought the Titanic was in fact challenging reality by claiming nothing could sink it. Perhaps they were right on the motives of some and perhaps that’s something that led to sinking.
The second point is that since no one is promised another day, the time to do that which we ought to do is today. Today is the day to be a good spouse to your spouse. Today is the day to be a good parent to your children. Today is the day to serve Jesus the way that you’ve always wanted to serve Him. Celebrate every day. You not only know what tomorrow will or will not bring, but you do not know if tomorrow will ever come.
The Titanic Museum if you’re in the area any time is a great place to go to. You will learn plenty about the Titanic and I found it gripping as well thinking about all these people who died on that fateful day. The Titanic museum brings it all home. Let it be a reminder of how suddenly life can be gone. We are but a mist that is here today and gone tomorrow. Let’s make a difference today.