Are we just staying afloat?

by Hetal Shah on July 9, 2011

in Life

I received an email from my sister today, which included a forwarded email from one of her old tutors. His name is Father Terry. I’ve never met him, but have often been privy to the words of wisdom that he imparts to his students.

This email I received tells a short story, but makes a very important point. It goes as follows:

There is a story about a sea captain who in his retirement skippered a boat to take day-trippers to Shetland Islands.

On one trip the boat was full of a wide assortment of people all out to enjoy themselves at the outing. They laughed at the old captain when they saw him say a prayer before sailing out, because the day was fine and the sea was calm.

They weren’t long at sea when a storm suddenly blew up and the boat began to pitch violently. The terrified passengers came to the captain and asked him to join them in prayer.

He replied, “I say my prayers when it is calm. When the seas are rough I attend to my ship!”

What really struck me about this story is not the obvious religious tone or the spiritual aspect of it. But the pragmatic viewpoint and wisdom it imparts.

How many of us in our daily lives take a moment to plan our day? We have a tendency to wake up and just hit the ground running. And then face the day as it comes. Imagine how serene our day would be if only we took 5 minutes in the morning or the night before to plan out the events of the next day.

Inevitably each day, the waves in our ocean do get rough. Sometimes they’re just a few inches high, and sometimes the storm engulfs our soul. Often times, we are caught unaware and we drain our energy trying to stay afloat. And then the afterthought, “If only I had taken a few minutes before sailing to check the weather and carry my life jacket.”

  • Great thoughts here Hetal. Definitely something I am guilty off when things get too busy. Thanks for sharing!

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