Sea Still

Christian Cruise

It’s 3 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon. Normally I’d be in my office answering an endless stream of email, silencing an ever-ringing phone and battling with the printer, which never seems to operate on command. Instead, I’m sitting on a sun-soaked balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There’s nothing but blue waters rippling away for miles and miles from the bow of the ship. The sun lazily hangs in the sky, sending its waves of warmth. The sound of the ship cuts quietly through the waters, lulling me to a peaceful rest—one unlike I believe I’ve had in months—maybe longer.

While my family is busy with cruise ship activities, I take this minute to pause. I pull out my Bible and begin browsing passages to see what I should glean from this moment.

Thumbing through the book of Mark, I see where Jesus took His disciples away from the crowds to quiet places on several occasions. These were times of rejuvenation, personal reflection and growth. I feel the gentle tug of God’s presence calling me to commune with Him—right there on the ship—in the middle of seemingly nowhere. It’s a moment I sense I’ll be able to call upon when I return to everyday life. It’s a moment without a price tag.

I realize like many people, I often avoid silence. I use car rides to make phone calls, and meetings to jot down to-do lists. Family dinner time is so rare and sporadic it’s often treated like a triage review of what’s urgent in our lives.

Tonight I’ll join with my family in a time of worship on the ship, and for a brief few days be able to truly connect with them in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. We’ll explore beautiful islands when we dock and enjoy our cruise, but we’ll also learn to seek the moments of quiet, those places where we can practice the presence of God, as Brother Lawrence wrote, within ourselves and with each other as Jesus did with His disciples.

We’re created to worship. But sometimes our daily disciplines need a jolt—a getaway with God to shake us out of our routines and into a different, fresh perspective. For me, it happens with a change of scenery, and believe me, this cruise is absolutely spectacular.

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