SAVE OUR SHIP! June 20, 2015

Read:  Revelations 3:15-17.  This is what the Lord had to say to the church at Laodicea.  God’s view of apathy is explained very well in these verses…to be blunt…it makes Him want to vomit!

Edmund Burke said:  “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing!”

That said, I give you this illustration I read recently.


Off the Isthmus of Platitude on the Apathetic Sea, a ship of state was slowly but surely sinking into oblivion.

On board, most of the passengers and crew were engaged in basking as usual.  As to the immediate likelihood of drowning, there were various degrees of awareness.  There were also two schools of thought on the subject.  One small group insisted not only that the ship was sinking, but that this was truly bad.  Another small group insisted that it was perfectly all right for the ship to sink; in fact, that progressive and forward-looking passengers would help it to do so.  The waves by which the ship was being submerged were simply the “waves of the future.”

Members of this latter group were quietly but systematically boring holes in the bottom of the boat to speed up and ensure the sinking.  All around this conspiratorial group was a much larger and noisier band, defending the actions of these borers from within, by many falsehoods and sophistries.  Their most persistent explanations were that: (1) the conspirators were not really damaging the ship but improving its chances because the bored holes were to allow the water already in the ship to flow out; and (2) “What difference did it make, because a little drowning never hurt anybody anyway.”

Near the bow of the ship another small band was praying, asking for Divine intervention…a very worthwhile effort.  But right within their midst one of the conspirators was drilling happily away, and the praying band DID NOTHING to stop him.

In a protected and comfortable area, there was another group.  This one a conglomeration of theorists.  They were engaged, off and on, in a heated debate as to the sociological feasibility and economic wisdom of boring holes in the bottom of a ship.  Eventually each discussion ended in agreement that the procedure was unsound, and the group passed a resolution to that effect for the ship’s paper.  In between these discussions they took up other serious academic matters, such as the history of hole-boring in the navies in the past.

Up in the rigging there was a sizable number of people trying to be completely above it all.  They were expectantly waiting for a political zephyr to blow them ashore, or to blow the ship ashore, before it sank.  Unfortunately, all of the political winds were blowing towards the deep-sea, and there was no land in sight.

The Captain and most of the ship’s officers were busily writing and delivering notes to the conspirators, offering to lend them larger drills to bore bigger holes, so that they could let all of this horrible water out of the ship that much faster.

Right in the middle of the boat there was a small group of dedicated passengers trying to prevent the sinking.  Some of this group were frantically manning the pumps.  Some were plugging up holes a fast as they could, and getting terribly splashed and smeared while doing so.  Some were trying to remove the conspirators from the ship’s bottom to the brig.  But, the efforts of all these people were handicapped by their lack of numbers and constantly hampered by the sleeping bodies they had to jump across.  Occasionally some of these sleeping passengers would open one eye and say:  “I know I really should help, but I don’t like your methods.”

The funniest and yet the most pathetic sight, however, was of that large number of people who understood that the ship was sinking, who were already in the sea, and who, between gulping gasps of air as they went down for the third time, kept shouting:  “I can do more good on the outside!”


By:  H. L. Richardson

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