Master of This Vessel
It was a moment I don't think I'll ever forget. Nerves, anxiety, excitement, hope, joy all mixed together. I was about to embark on my first sail on a ship. One thing I was concerned about in us accepting this family adventure was the time at sea. Would I be sick? Would the kids be sick? Would I have a panic attack in the middle of the sea with no land in sight? Well, I was about to find out!
With our "Seabands" on, cameras in hand and people all over the world praying for us, we headed out to Deck 7 to watch the gangway be lifted. No turning back now, no escape except for the water below. It was thrilling. Deck 7 wasn't high enough. We kept climbing higher and higher, the vantage point changing with ever stair. I couldn't believe we had almost complete access to wander wherever we wanted to watch this amazing process unfold. It's not as simple as untying from the dock at Miller's Landing in a ski boat!
A few hours prior we had a drill, mostly to count heads and make sure everyone who was going with us was on board. From what I've experience thus far, after a drill, the Captain comes on the PA to tell us the drill is over. This time, as he concluded the drill, he prayed for our sail. Of course I welled up with tears. I'm sure the Captains of cruise ships don't pray over the crew, passengers and sail! At least not publicly over the ship PA system! It was a powerful moment.
"Father, you are the master of this vessel," he prayed. Then I really lost it! He essentially just gave up all his authority, all his power, all his rank over this vessel to the God who created the wind and the waves. I'm fighting back tears even now as I recall this. I'm not sure I can adequately express how this prayer of humility, surrender and submission convicted me; Challenged me; Surprised me; Eased every nerve in my body.
I don't know our Captain personally, but there is somewhat of an intimidating factor about him. Perhaps he's not intimidating, but the responsibility he bears and the stripes on his epaulets are! But the moment he surrendered his ship to God, I felt like I was a child on the houseboat on our summer vacations when my Dad was at the helm. I felt safe, relaxed and at ease. If God is the Master of our vessel, I had nothing to worry about.
With some added time testing out the new steering gear at sea, we arrived safely in Tenerife as the sun set and the lights came up in the city. It was magical! We all survived! And the Newquists didn't get sick!
God, you are the Master of my vessel - me. You are my Master. Why should I fear? Why should I doubt? Why should I worry? I trust you.
Here's a little video I made of Our First Sail. Enjoy!