104 years after her loss, there is something still captivating about the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic. The first “unsinkable” ship of her kind, the Titanic struck an iceberg three days into her maiden voyage and on April 15th, 1912, she sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, killing over 1,500 of her passengers. Within weeks of her sinking, a full investigation was launch and top ship builders and and scientists assembled to give their insights into how the 900’ ocean liner dropped over two miles to the bottom of the sea. The general consensus was the same: a giant gash in the front hull allowed thousands of gallons of water to enter the ships holding tanks and drop the floating fortress like a rock.
One of the ships primary engineers, however, believed that a single a gash in the hull was nearly an impossible cause of damage. While one or two of the ships dozen air tanks would fill up, it seemed improbable that enough damage would be done to down the entire boat. In fact, the ship was designed to withstand several (3-4, maybe even 6!) of it’s tanks to flood and still float long enough to get survivors safely off.
This one engineer, Edward Wilding, believed that it was a series of smaller gashes that led to the Titanic’s rapid plunge into the murky waters of the Atlantic. He was almost laughed out of the discussion, until 77 years later, when divers inspected the ship’s wreckage for the first time. Guess what they discovered? Six, small gashes across several points in the hull of the Titanic were the reason for its demise. The single gaping hole theory was disproved.
I read about this and it made me think about a friend I know who sacrificed his marriage for a year long sexual fling with his secretary. He was a pastor and I heard him share his story one morning with several other men. You see, he didn’t wake up one morning and think, “Today would be a great day to destroy my wife, disappoint my children, lose my job and the work I love and ruin another marriage by having sex with my secretary.”
Instead, his affair began three years before he slept with his secretary when he started noticing her outfits (small gash). They began, subtly, to flirt with each other (small gash), and then he found himself looking forward to working together with her on projects (small gash). They had opportunity to travel together a couple of times (small gash), and their conversations became more and more intimate and personal (small gash). They started meeting together secretly for meals (small gash) and ultimately made plans for a lunch meeting (small gash) that turned into a sexual encounter at a swanky out-of-town hotel (ship sank).
As I think about this friend, I wonder how many small gashes I’ve allowed into my life? Our enemy loves the subtle attacks on our hearts and minds, inserting subtle beliefs that slowly leads us downward. You know, ideas like, “it’s ok to look, as longs as you don’t ‘act out’ on it” or, “everyone else is doing this, even your church friends, so it can’t really be that bad.” The rapid plunge to the bottom occurs after the small gashes have done their damage.
What small gashes are keeping you from living the fullness of the Overboard Life? Maybe if you’re honest, the plunge is about to start, and today, today is the day you confess your sin to God and embrace the forgiveness He offers and spiritual repair that only He can provide!
Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!