Titanic Question

For the past few weeks, much media attention has been at the bottom of the ocean.

April 15 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic--the ship deemed in its day as indestructible. For decades, it has served as a symbol of our mortality, a reminder that even the sturdiest of human creations are but dust. While some generations rely heavily on James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster film, Titanic, for a history lesson, we know that Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet only tell a small part of the story. One of Titanic's greatest teachers is literally at the bottom of the ocean. And that teacher is Titanic herself.

Dan Vergano wrote in USA Today at length on the question, Titanic at 100: Preserve the wreck or let it go?. What remains of the Titanic rests at great depths of the Atlantic Ocean, and much effort and money has gone into safely preserving those remnants. The article reminds us of the value in historical preservation: a healthy maintenance of the past in order to create a better present and future. There is much that future generations can learn from the culture preserved in those depths. At the same time, Vergano's title calls us to prioritize. Is this unique preservation worth the necessary costs, labors, and dangers? Knowing that one day even these remains will disintegrate, are we called to let this visual piece of history go?

As human beings, we've all experienced wreckages, although they may not be of titanic proportions. Relationships fail. Church disappoints. Families argue. Emotions boil. We all have stories in the oceans of past times. To what degree should we learn from these experiences, and to what extent should we let them go?

There are plenty of verses of Scripture that provide some pit-pat answers to such a big question, but life is about more than the pit-pat, easy approach. Perhaps we're more likely to find an answer when we look at our fellow human beings in Scripture such as Paul. He had to deal with the wreckage of having once been Saul. He lamented his past sins, but he did not spend his whole ministry leaning on his dramatic story. He learned from the wreckage, but along the way the wreckage faded into the depths of his past as he focused on new insights for the early Church. The balance of letting go and hanging on vary for each of us on different time tables. What is most important is that we realize the value in both. Hang on. Let go. Let go. Hang on. Learn to do both, to engage in both practices healthfully, and to remember that no matter how titanic we feel at times, there is One greater than we who helps us with those beautiful messes we bring to Him.

Easter grace to each of you,
Pastor Darian