Thursday, January 19, 2012
Going down with the ship
You've seen it all over the news. Images of the giant cruise ship, the "Costa Concordia", laying over on its side after smashing into the rocks just off the coast of the Tuscan Island of Giglio. Dozens of passengers are either confirmed dead or listed as "missing". This Captain Schettino, or whatever his name is, has been in jail since last weekend. Apparently he made the very bad decision to sail too close to the rocky shores of Giglio Island just off the coast of Italy. No one knows exactly why just yet. There are rumors of an unauthorized "blonde" seen dining at the captain's table about an hour before the ship hit the rocks. That's intriguing stuff that the media is sure to jump all over. Another reported that the ship's chief waiter had asked the captain to do a sort of "fly by" of the island so that the chief waiter's family, who just so happened to live on the island, could get an impressive view of the ship. Perhaps the captain was just an idiot. Only time will tell.
I am intrigued by what we've all learned about ship captains. It seems that "abandoning ship" is a criminal offense. Captains are required to stay on board until everyone else is safe. Now, I have heard about the heroics of the captain of the Titanic and all, but I had no idea that this was the law. In order to be a captain, you have to be willing to give your life for the ship. Going down with the ship is law. It's what you do. Our friend Captain Schettino has explained why he left the scene a little early. When the ship started to list he "fell off"...right into a lifeboat. Guess he thinks that we are the idiots.
Ok, the point. We believers in Jesus know a little something about "losing our lives" don't we? He said it himself. In order to gain your life then you will have to lose it. What does that mean exactly? Does it mean that we are required to give up everything that we have to follow Jesus? Does it mean that I have to be willing to sacrifice every single thing I have for the sake of the Gospel? Does it mean that in order to live into this sacrificial life that I have to be willing to die for the faith; to "go down with the ship"? Maybe for some. For most of us living in the good ol' USA where to speak the name of Jesus does not guarantee certain death, it may be something else. I take this rather hard teaching to mean that I do need to realize that following will cost me something. It will cost me time. It will cost me money. It will narrow my choices among the plethora of choices that the "world" offers. If I decide to make a somewhat tactful rebuke when the guys at the gym make a highly inappropriate comment about the young girl that just walked by, it can cost me any future invitations to play racquetball. Jesus will always cost me something.
This is my first blog. I hope that you will enjoy it. Here's question number one. What's Jesus costing you?