Few movies have been released with more fanfare than 1997’s Titanic. Of course, considering it smashed all of the box office records of the day, holding the top spot for over a decade until Avatar overtook it, I suppose the hoopla was warranted. Many people really liked the movie. Then of course it became so popular that people started disliking the movie. It’s funny how we do that, but that’s really not the point.
I know you’ve seen it, so you remember the plot. The part I want to focus on occurs on the exploration boat after Rose has shared her story of the final hours of Titanic. She provides a number of statistics, followed by an interesting commentary…
“Fifteen-hundred people went into the sea, when Titanic sank from under us. There were twenty boats floating nearby… and only one came back. One. Six were saved from the water, myself included. Six… out of fifteen-hundred. Afterward, the seven-hundred people in the boats had nothing to do but wait… wait to die… wait to live… wait for an absolution… that would never come.”
The statistics are factual, so there’s not much to discuss there. It’s the waiting that piques my interest. I can’t (and frankly don’t want to) imagine the thoughts that must’ve gone through the minds of the people sitting on the lifeboats. Hours earlier, they were in formal attire, dining on the greatest ship ever built. Now they were sitting in total darkness in a small open boat in the middle of the North Atlantic. They didn’t know the actual numbers, but they knew all too well the tragic loss of life that had just occurred. Many of them were in shock, or mourning the deaths of their husbands, fathers, sons, and dear friends. They also found themselves in uncertain circumstances. It was likely that rescue ships would come, but when? Would they freeze, starve, or capsize before help arrived? On one level, they had to be happy to be alive, but with all they had experienced there could be no manner to express it without guilt, shame, and remorse.
Waiting has a way of giving the mind opportunities to fill itself with images. Satan uses these opportunities to do all that he can to derail you from the things God has put in your life, whether they are designed to bless you or test you. Think about the moments you have where you are truly alone with your thoughts. For most people, one of two things will fill those times – fears or prayers.
While the enemy tries all he can to distract and destroy, God gives us a simple instruction to help us to better use these times to glorify Him and strengthen our faith. Paul speaks of these attacks and our best defense in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5…
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Our minds will work against us, if we allow them to do so. Over-thinking and analyzing situations create unnecessary tension, unrealistic expectations, and unfortunate outcomes. By taking every thought captive we regain a sense of control over our minds. We keep our perspective, we remain calm, and we allow the voice of the Lord to speak clearly into ears that can hear and to a mind ready to listen and comprehend the good and perfect will of the Lord in our lives.
If you are like me, you have made this mistake – more than once. Thankfully God is patient and forgiving. Let the first thought you take captive be the one that makes you regret yesterday’s errors. Seek His will and find forgiveness and peace in the words of God.