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Legacy


Trust the Captain

By Karl Priest November 4, 2014 (revised 6-30-15)

I experienced life at sea with the U.S. Navy in 1968. My first cruise started in early January. Sometimes we would spend several days below deck never seeing the sky. A shipmate would have occasion to go above deck and could tell us what he saw. I only saw one porthole. It had thick glass and was not at a convenient height so it was of little use. I dimly recall hearing the weather of the day announced at reveille or morning muster. There is something I still vividly recall—when the ship entered a storm.

The ship was large enough that often we could not tell we were at sea if the weather was calm. As we went about our work the ship would begin to slightly rock as the weather changed. The 1MC (speaker system) would announce that the ship was entering rough seas. Soon thereafter, we would hear the command to “lash down!” That meant we were to tie down anything that could fly loose. Before long we heard, “All hands stand by for high seas and heavy rolls!” That was an accurate statement. Walking down a passageway required pushing off one bulkhead then pushing off the opposite bulkhead.

No matter how secure we made loose items, some would get damaged or destroyed. Some of us got a little banged up. Many were seasick.

We never knew how long the storm would last. We had no control over steering the ship. We had to trust the captain and he always got us to our destination port.

Those storms are like what Christians live through. There are brethren who have gone topside and came back to share what they saw. The damaged or lost equipment are our material possessions. The “lash down” warnings are Bible admonitions. The Captain is analogous to Jesus.

The hymn writer was so very right when he penned the words to “Upon a Wide and Stormy Sea.”* Sail on! Sail on! The storms will soon be past, The darkness will not always last; Sail on! Sail on!

He knew that Christians must trust their Captain.

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*Complete words: http://www.hymnary.org/text/upon_a_wide_and_stormy_sea

Another good hymn is “Jesus Pilots My Ship” at http://www.namethathymn.com/hymn-lyrics-detective-forum/index.php?a=vtopic&t=1763 that begins: “ The Soul of Man is like a Ship that sails on the sea of time. The Storms may come, winds may blow and rock this ship of mine. But the reason my ship has never sank and today it’s still afloat. My compass is His Precious Word and Jesus Pilots my boat.”

Of course, we cannot omit, “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me” (http://www.hymnary.org/text/jesus_savior_pilot_me) from which we sing: “Jesus, Saviour, pilot me, Over life's tempestuous sea; Treach'rous waves before me roll, Hiding rock and dang'rous shoal, Chart and compass came from thee, Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.”

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Published in the Charleston Gazette November 16, 2014

Also see I Jumped” and USS Wright.

If you want to meet THE Captain CLICK HERE.

Then ride the Gospel Ship with me.

Always remember that He Pilots My Ship.

LEGACY INDEX