Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fully Committed

Acts 27:40 So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the ropes that tied the rudders. Then hoisting the foresail to the wind they made for the beach.

40 καὶ τὰς ἀγκύρας περιελόντες εἴων εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ἅμα ἀνέντες τὰς ζευκτηρίας τῶν πηδαλίων καὶ ἐπάραντες τὸν ἀρτέμωνα τῇ πνεούσῃ κατεῖχον εἰς τὸν αἰγιαλόν.

This is a verse in the shipwreck narrative. Paul gave the sailors a little "told you so" and then watched as they resigned themselves to the destruction of their ship. Some tried to escape, but he explained the need for everyone to stay on the ship. The rest of the sailors agreed with him and they stayed on board. Then as their plight went on for a full fortnight they eventually realized that they had to just let the ship run aground.

I'm no sailor, but I would think that in general you would not just cut the anchors unless you had given up on ever using the ship the same way again. You would reel them in. But once you realize that your ship is lost then there is no need for an anchor.

I understand that the point of this text is not to teach us about being fully committed. However, as I read this today I was struck by the resignation of the sailors. They realized what was going on and they became intensely practical. I am reminded of the movie "The High and the Mighty" where the passengers had to get rid of all unnecessary weight so that the plane could make it through the rest of its flight. One woman kissed her fur coat goodbye before throwing it off the plane. But she still threw it off.

I am just struck by the intense practicality of the sailors. In a previous verse they had thrown all the wheat into the sea. There was no reason to hold on to all the stuff because it was unnecessary.

So what are you holding on to? Again, I would not preach this as an application to this text, but as I read it this morning this occurred to me. This blog is meant to be something of an online journal as I read through some text every day. I think my question is certainly biblical. How do you answer it?

No comments: