A dear friend told me this story a few months ago and I want to share it with you.
Once upon a time, not long ago, you decided to cross the Atlantic in style. You owned a beautiful large ship. Every corner of this boat held wonder and awe. You spent many a night dancing under the sky full of stars. The name of your boat was The Titanic.
What?!? You realized the horrible reality of the situation. You feel doomed as you feel the boat hit the iceberg and start to sink.
Somehow, miraculously, you survived. You were spared. How?
You look around and notice that you’re floating on a cooler. You think you’re alive because of this cooler. Then you notice others are also alive, floating on their own coolers.
What’s inside the cooler? That’s the strange thing. Each person’s cooler is filled with things that somehow motivates them or helps them with their troubles. One cooler is filled with cigarettes, tobacco. Another with alcohol. One cooler has sugar and high-calorie sweets. Each cooler has something different.
Somebody comes by on a small lifeboat and directs you to an island. An island even more beautiful than that sunken ship you just survived. They use words like happiness, joy, peace, eternity, and love to describe this place. They describe bliss.
It all seems strange. Are they kidding?
Then you perceive something swimming in the water. Could it be sharks? Then you notice holes in your cooler.
Then you hear people calling to you from the island. They tell you to leave the cooler and swim to the island. It’s the only way.
It’s scary. You must let go of your cooler — but the cooler is the only thing that has saved you. This doesn’t make sense.
When you finally do, the real miracle happens. You trust. You let go. Then you realize you were only a short distance from the island. You’re safe now.
So what does all this mean?
The Titanic represents life — with all its beauty and failings.
The coolers represent our coping mechanisms. What keeps us going in life. Things that motivate us. However, these things we think we need won’t last. Our “coolers” will eventually be our downfall if we don’t let go.
The holes in our coolers are the hard knocks of life. Reality.
The lesson? We don’t really need the coolers or what’s in them. We do need other people though. We encourage each other.
In this new year, might I suggest you worry about your own cooler. I know I am. 😉