I've Got a Sinking Feeling About the Titanic (Redemption)

(Picture courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org)

Ever since I was a young girl and watched "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" at my Grandma's house, I've had a fascination with the Titanic.   When the James Cameron movie came out in 1997, I watched the movie 3 times in theaters.  (I was in college and poor at the time, so that was a LOT).   I've also seen the movie on TV numerous times since.   Last night, my husband, Marvelous Matthew, and I caught the last half of the movie.  I have to admit, after watching the movie for 13 years, it's starting to get a bit predictable.  The ship sinks at the end.  Shocking, I know.  Anyway...we watched the movie and went straight to bed.  I had a dream last night about the Titanic.  You need to understand, I frequently have crazy, vivid dreams.  (Marvelous Matthew has gotten in trouble many times because of something I dreamed he did.  He told me just the other day that he gets in more trouble from my dreams than he does in real life!)

In my dream last night, my mom invited my children and I to a vacation on the Titanic.  We were all excited to go!  We got on the boat, looked around at all its glories and were having an immensely fun time.  Then, the boat hit the iceberg and panic ensued.  I was frantic to get off the ship.  I figured out a way off, but suddenly realized that my mom and son were not with us.  Running crazy, I found them at the end of a corridor.  I told them I found a way off and that we could all be safe if they just hurried.  My mom told me, "Lynnae, take your kids and get off.  I need to stay to help as many people as I can to safety."  I plead, cried, and screamed at her to come with me.  She was very calm, and told me again she had to stay so others could be safe, but I had to make sure my children were safe.  It was heart wrenching.  I had to leave my mom to save my children.  The kids and I safely left the boat.  My mom helped many live, but did not survive the sinking herself.  Just after watching the boat sink, I woke up with hot tears streaming fast and furious down my face.  The realization quickly settled on me that it was only a dream, but that my mother's death 2 months ago was very, painfully real.

As the tears began to cool and slow, the first thing I did was inform Marvelous Matthew that we were never, EVER watching that movie right before bed again!  Then, I reflected more on the dream.  I came to realize that there was more significance to it if I looked a bit deeper.  This old world we live on could actually have been just like the Titanic without the Savior.  It could have sunk and been worthless.  Although a few people survived the shipwreck, no one would have survived eternally without Christ.  He, like my mom in my dream, said, "I need to help as many as I can to safety!"  Because of His sacrifice, the world and our lives have meaning.  He gave each of us the ability to live eternally.  In John 3:16 we are told, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

With the Christmas season upon us, I hope we all remember the true reason we celebrate the birth of Christ.  It's not for the presents. Santa isn't real, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is.   The true celebration is that we can have everlasting life because of a Savior who loves us.  Merry Christmas!!

How Do I Measure Up? (Spiritual Guidance)

What do a measuring tape, Christmas lights, and cars have in common? You don't know?! Well, I'm about to tell you.

Over Thanksgiving, my family and one of my friends have a tradition of going to the Bristol Motor Speedway In Lights (Bristol, TN). We went on Black Friday, which we have never done before and will NEVER do again! The line to get in to the lights was outrageously long. You stay in your car throughout the visit. We were, however, immensely enjoying each others company as we waited. Then, we noticed the car behind us inching closer and closer. As we moved with the stop and go traffic, he was getting so close we worried he was going to hit us if we rolled back at all. My husband was sitting in the back seat and couldn't even see the guy's headlights he was so close! We were starting to discuss options for what to do, and hadn't come up with anything good. Then, my friend said, "I wish I had a measuring tape to see just how close he is!"

I asked if she by some very strange chance might actually have a measuring tape in her car. We searched and searched. By some miracle she had a seamstress tape! I grabbed it, hopped out of the car, raced to the back, and wedged myself between the two cars. I put the measuring tape on our bumper and pulled it to his bumper in order to measure the distance. NINETEEN INCHES! I held up the measuring tape and with a broad grin on my face said, "Nineteen inches. You're a little close!" Then, I raced back into the car, just cackling. We all laughed until we were breathless. I don't think the guy realized he was so close. He got the message and backed off. He stayed mostly off our bumper until we were done with the light show.

There have been times in my life I've inched too close to sin and away from God, many times not even realizing it. In 1 John 1:8 it says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves...." Well, it's nice to know I'm in good company! At times when I'm inching too close, the Spirit tells me to start measuring my spirituality. God has given us guides to measure how close we are to sin, and how we can get back up to Him. We just need to use them to get us away from sin and closer to Him.

How My Dragon Trained Me (Spiritual Preparation)

I’m not bragging here, or anything, but for the past 4 years it’s been an annual tradition in my family each December to do the Savannah Enmark Bridge Run 5k. The first year I did it with a friend. My daughter, who was 3 at the time, told me that she wanted to do the race with me the next year. I thought she’d lose interest considering that it was a whole year away, and she was three for goodness sake. Not so much! She informed, harassed, cajoled, and bribed me for the ENTIRE next year. September rolled around and I realized she truly was going to do the race with me. We figured out a training regimen so she could do the race without killing herself! She worked hard, and the training wasn’t easy. There were several times she informed me, “Mommy, I’m boring! Do we have to do this?!” (Yes, she said “boring” rather than bored. It made me giggle). I acted as her trainer and helped her through difficult times. She persevered! We even did a practice 5k to ensure she could finish, and she did! The first Saturday in December came around. We were prepped and ready to go. I should probably have mentioned that there is costume contest connected with the race. We were the tortoise and the hare. She made it up and over the bridge without complaint. We may not have been first, but she finished having taken every step to get there! We have done it every year since then, dressing in costume each time and having a blast.

This year we dressed up as the characters from “How To Train Your Dragon”. My son, who is 3, also joined us for the race. He was Hiccup. I fashioned a dragon out of foam around a jogging stroller to make it appear as though he was riding on the dragon. He “rode the dragon” the whole time. My daughter was Astrid and I was just a generic Viking. I haven’t pushed my son in a stroller for a long time, so I actually had to borrow the stroller from a friend. I didn’t do much training for the 5k since I knew my daughter could do the course without too much difficulty. I did complete a 5k two weeks prior with my son riding on my shoulders about half the race and made it through just fine. We certainly aren’t winning any races by our speed, just doing them with determination to finish. I figured if there were going to be any issues, it would be from my daughter since she did less training than I. As I started pushing that stroller up the steep hill, I realized I made a mistake. I hadn’t properly prepared my body to push about 45 lbs of weight up the 5.5% grade on that bridge when it was bound and determined to go down. My arms strained from the weight. I thought my shoulders were going to detach from my body. I began to think that someone had set fire to my calves (I just about went after that someone to do them bodily harm…until I realized I was already doing bodily harm to myself!) About half way up the incline, I was debating whether or not to give up. I stared at the top and felt like the little train, “I think I can, I think I can…..” My daughter was trying to talk to me, but I have no idea what she said. It took all my strength to make it to the top. Panting, sweating, and feeling pain in parts of my body that I never knew existed, I finally made it to the top. Shoo-whee! I began to enjoy the race again on the decline, and when my daughter asked me to run, I felt up to the challenge again. I finished the race, but I was more worn out than I had EVER felt.

Now, let’s compare and contrast for a minute, shall we? My daughter prepared, worked and came through with ease. I, on the other hand, thought I didn’t need to prepare and certainly paid the consequences.

We are told many times in the scriptures that we are to be spiritually prepared. Jesus told of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom, five were prepared and five were not. The prepared five met Him joyfully. What does it mean to you to be spiritually prepared? For me, it means a constant, daily “training schedule” with my “trainer” encouraging me to keep going when I just don’t “feel it”. I’ll admit to many times thinking, “I’m tired. Why should I read my scriptures? I have a lot going on in my own life! Why do I need to help someone else?” During those times, my trainer says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these… ye have done it unto me.” He loves me and encourages me to continue flexing my spiritual muscles, not so that He becomes stronger, but because I become stronger and more able to run the race back to Him.