The Titanic, A Mirage, and Spiritual Life
Updated: Jul 25, 2018
A documentary on the Titanic regarding a mirage on the seas may explain the sinking of the vessel. How might "mirages" catch us off guard in spiritual life?
A few months ago, I watched a documentary about a new theory about how the Titanic sank. It was fascinating to see that a mirage, or optical illusion, can occur at sea. These illusions cause the horizon to appear higher than it is, and the water appears to be higher, disguising the icebergs. A researcher by the name of Tim Maltin has scoured records of the Titanic while traveling abroad speaking to other sailors about how this affects lookout at sea. This could explain why the lookouts aboard the Titanic spotted the iceberg too late, and the ship had no chance of escaping unscathed.
A mirage is so deceptive. There are people who traverse the desert, convincing that water lies ahead. The optical illusions are understood. We know that people aren't making them up. Rather, it's something that tricks the eye and the mind's perception. What's particularly egregious about this phenomenon is that it often propels a person forward because they're unaware of the real dangers that exist.
As I ponder this point, I wonder how many "mirage" moments we may go through in life. We use our senses and our abilities that normally serve us well. We might even be connected to the Lord and living out our faith as best as we know how to do. Then, out of nowhere, the massive "iceberg" of a trial or setback is suddenly upon us, and we wonder how we didn't see it coming. There's something to be said about how in life, we can't necessarily catch everything or prevent all things. Some things sneak through our watchful guard.
In his book The DNA of Relationships, Dr. Gary Smalley discusses what he's learned about God. God has the power to stop anything. Yet, despite this power, there are difficult things that He allows to pass through to our lives. Dr. Smalley says he learned to be at peace with the things that the Lord allowed to pass through His filter or protection.
Dr. Smalley's discussion about the filter reminds me of various Bible characters who faced some really raw deals. Some of the apostles were martyred. Paul faced shipwrecks. Jesus was crucified. Daniel went into a lion's den. Naomi lost her husband and sons. Mary had to witness the crucifixion of Jesus. Joseph was in a pit and a prison. The list goes on. These men and women of faith are examples of people who lived out their faith. They weren't perfect, but they made it into the pages of the Bible. God was with them, and if you serve Him, God is with you.
There's a miracle when God prevents certain things from touching us, but it is also a miracle to see what God gets us through. There are things that you and I will face that He can use to let others know how real He is and how He is able to move in seemingly impossible situations.
Unfortunately, many people died in the Titanic sinking. However, as history shows, the designers were ill equipped with life boats for an emergency. That was not God's problem if people chose to cut corners or to save money. You make sure that you're handling what's in your hand to do. Let God do what He's best at, the things you cannot do or the things that you cannot do well.
A final word, do not let condemnation or self-sabotage torment you about the fact that you did not catch the mirage was happening. We get stunted in self-blame and self-loathing. Rather, find a way to assess the pieces that you have and find a way to move forward! If you need help, feel free to connect with me. I became a life coach to help people move forward.