We all know the story of the great oceanliner Titanic. On its maiden voyage, the unsinkable ship hit an iceberg and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the year 1912. The passengers that day had no idea that for many, it would be their last voyage of life. All of us are passengers on this titanic world and unlike the passengers of the ill-fated ship, we know how it will end for us. It probably won’t be a watery grave but a grave of dirt that will cover the earthly remains of who we were and of who we became. There is no doubt about it, we are passengers on the Titanic and we are headed for a collision with an iceberg called ‘time.’ I have often wondered how people feel when they have been diagnosed with a deadly disease and are told they have a limited time to live. Yet, all of us are on a timeline and we have a general idea regarding the length of it. It’s not a question of ‘if we will hit the iceberg’, because we will. It is just a matter of when!
I recall many years ago a well-known public political figure who had, by all accounts, been vicious in the political arena and was well-known for his personal attack style of getting the job done. He was praised by his party for his tenacity but I noted that when, at a young age, having been diagnosed with a terminal disease, he made a public statement of regret and great remorse for the life he had lived. He reportedly said:
“My illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood, and probably never would have. So, from that standpoint, there is some truth and good in everything.”
For this man it took a close up look at the iceberg to make him see that navigating life’s troubled waters is more than obtaining power, wealth and fame, of which he had gained. He made this profound statement regarding life.
“… you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime.”
At least for this man, he recognized the error of his ways before his ship went down. Yet, the ship is going down for all of us. Do we need to wait till our last breath to recognize that the teachings of the Savior of the world are vital in finding happiness and joy in this life. What a travesty. A great prophet from the America’s declared:
“…your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.” (Helaman 13:38)
May we not procrastinate the day of our repentance until it is too late. The iceberg can, for some, appear out of nowhere. The great Navigator of this life is the Savior of the world, even Jesus Christ. May we follow him; for in him we will find safety, happiness and joy. It is through him and by him, that we can be raised from the titanic graves that await us all.