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Devotion 13 - 28 April 2013

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1 Corinthians 10:12 - “Therefor let anyone thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

A Lesson from the Titanic

Yesterday was the day on which we remembered that fateful day in 1912 when the mightiest of all ships to have been built up to that point suffered a fate no one ever imagined was possible... Even one of the ship’s crewmen famously said, “Not even God can sink this ship!” And yet we know how it all ended – in tragedy and devastation that still impacts us today.

One of the things about that night in 1912 that struck me with new force yesterday is the fact that it was a perfectly wind-still night and the waters were so calm that one passenger described it as having the appearance of a sheet of glass. There were no immediate signs of danger, in fact, all was calm and quiet. And yet, despite this apparent calm, there was great danger afoot. Moreover, while listening to a recording of an interview with one of the survivors, I heard that even after the ship had struck the ice berg some of the passengers were so amused by it that they picked up some fragments of ice and began throwing it at each other as a bit of fun. So blissfully unaware were they of the danger that loomed that they were joking and playing.

I suppose these things struck me because I know how it all ended for those passengers, who knows, if I were there I would have probably had the same misplaced trust and confidence that most of the passengers had.

But in reflecting on that fateful day, and the circumstances of calm waters and jovial spirits just before that great tragedy, I was reminded of a well-known yet often neglected verse of Scripture written by the Apostle Paul... “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

So often, in our own lives, we find ourselves surrounded by calm waters and happy moments only to discover that the next moment brings about a great fall – a fall that could have been avoided if greater care had been taken while all was good. Calm waters cause us to drop our guard and take things for granted; this is one of the lessons I have learnt from the story of the Titanic. If only they had listened to Paul’s advice and been more careful, if only we would listen to his advice today and not grow over confident in our own achievements or overly secure in our own abilities...

Of the many things we can learn from the story of the Titanic, one truth is this: Pride and confidence in all the wrong things and places always comes just before the fall. Or we could just receive the advice of Paul, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

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