Monday, July 15, 2013

There was once a ship, that set sail, on a long journey. This was a glorious and magnificent ship. The land from which this ship sailed was barren and destitute, and life aboard this ship promised greater happiness for all its inhabitants. And those who endeavored to partake in the trip were promised great blessings at the destinations end.

During the journey, all seemed well and good. But then one day on the lower decks, a certain man, common and of little interest to most of those around him, discovered that there was a hole in the side of the ship that was leaking in water. With great concern, he began to tell others about his shocking discovery. To his astonishment, few were willing to stop their current activities long enough to pay much attention to him. But a few did listen, and did take notice. And upon further investigation, these people discovered that there was not just one hole but many that were causing the boat to take in water.

Some of these individuals brought this to the attention of the captain and others in charge. To their shock and disbelief, the captain and his first mates were insistent that everything was fine. There weren't any holes in the ship, they claimed. To insinuate otherwise was to be guilty of mutiny, and the offenders were threatened with being thrown off the ship.

Most of those aboard the ship, the great majority, refused to believe that the ship had any holes. For, they reasoned, if the captain said that all was well, it must be. Certainly, they claimed, it was more prudent to believe the word of their captain over the derelict few who seemed to want to "stir the waters" and "create imaginary problems." Because they were so sure in this assumption, most of these individuals refused to even scan the sides of the ship for themselves, to ascertain if there could be any holes. Besides, most of those around them were also declaring that they were safe. They convinced themselves that it was better to "just enjoy the view."

Others were discovering the holes, and began to doubt the journey that they had taken. They began to be fearful, and to panic. They claimed that the entire ship must have been faulty to begin with, and that they should never have gotten on board. And many of these individuals began to jump overboard, claiming that their chances were better at trying to swim back to their original port of departure, rather than stay on this ship that had leaking holes.

Still some, upon discovering the holes, and realizing the sheer folly of jumping ship and trying to swim back to port, instead began feverishly to attempt to patch the holes. But they soon realized that their numbers and resources were too small to completely fix the leaks. And what added to their discouragement, occasionally one of these individuals engaged in drawing attention to these holes and/or trying to patch them up, would be apprehended by the captain or his mates, and thrown off the ship, into a dinghy waiting below. As justification for their actions, those in charge would claim that the "guilty" party was acting unruly and trying to stir up the remaining crew to mutiny. This certainly couldn't be tolerated, they proclaimed, or else all would be lost. Order must be maintained at all cost, they surmised.                                    

Still others, upon discovering the holes, acknowledged in great sadness that the holes were there, but considered that trying to plug them might be futile, especially while the captain and those in charge refused to take any effective action. What was needed was new leadership and a new captain that would acknowledge the holes and attempt to repair them. Some of these individuals stayed on the ship, while others climbed into dinghies and departed from the ship.

But ultimately, all those who had discerned the holes, but refused to jump into the water, were convinced that a new and stronger ship was necessary. So they scanned the horizon, looking for such a ship, one with a mighty admiral at the helm. And they firmly believed that, eventually, such a vessel would come along to save them.