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“And one thing I know, there can only be one captain of a ship.”

February 27, 2010

My heart is breaking as I write this.

We watched “K-19: The Widowmaker” tonight. (*disclaimer: we watched it with ClearPlay Filtering*) I wasn’t even going to watch it originally. My mom was watching it with my 12-year old brother, because he has the desire to join the army when he’s old enough, and this was a film she thought would be good for him to see. She didn’t know if I’d be able to handle it though. And I didn’t think I was going to watch it… but when it came down to it, I came into the living room and sheepishly took a seat on the couch between my younger siblings.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Not that it was so graphically shocking (though there were some moments!), as much as something about it hitting deep in my heart as the screen faded to black and the credits rolled.

You know, this last year and a half or so since we’ve started watching a few army/war/military-related movies, I’ve not wanted to watch a single one of them. And yet, I’ve ended up watching every one.

I’m not a person who enjoys war movies, or war games, or war or military anything. I (twice) briefly entertained the notion of joining the Navy, within the last year. But my thoughts never touched the serious reality that truly accompanies those paths. Weapons and military have always been the furthest from my idea of ‘enjoyment’, for lack of a better term. And so, whenever we were going to watch one of those movies, I never wanted to, because I tend to be deeply affected, and didn’t want to experience that heaviness. But for some reason, every time, I end up watching them anyway. And it always turns out to be the best decision.

Why? Not because of any sort of ‘enjoyment’, oh no. But because it is GOOD for me to be reminded of the sacrifices others have gone through. It is GOOD for me to remember that there are deeper and more important things in life than the frivolity we as a nation and culture and possibly world have become complacently accustomed to. I forget so often of the bigger world out there, the bigger issues, the more IMPORTANT things of life, and instead focus on my little world and become so distracted by all the ‘glitter and glamour’ of the world.

There is evil is the world, and billions of people are trapped, enslaved, suffering; whether it be in a spiritual way or physical; and we need to fight it!

There is darkness and pain and heaviness, and yet many times, we forget the trials and pains we’ve gone through, and forget the neediness of others, and chose to live as if the frivolous, the clothes, the decorations, the design, the ‘prettiness’ and looks is what matters! (When I say ‘we’, I truly mean ‘I’.)

There is something so very wrong with this way of thinking, this way of living.

My eyes were opened when I went on the trip to Belize. Living in America, I’ve become so used to having everything I need. I have gone through major heartache yes, but God has been faithful and provided everything we’ve needed. Yet, what do I do? Do I turn around and share what He’s shared with me to others? I thank Him most sincerely, but do I truly live out my gratitude? I’ve said I love Him and know that He loves me, but do I truly live like it?

No. The sad answer resounds as I look at myself for the selfish sinner that I am.

I saw so much in Belize, and learned so much, and was learning so much from it days after I came back. But when those days had passed, I fell back into weakness, and seemed to almost forget everything God had just shown me.

I am ashamed.

I am broken.

I could not even “stay awake one hour” with my Saviour.

I gave in to the distractions of this world, of the enemy.

So what does all this have to do with watching K-19?

Well somehow, God chose to use it to reach my wandering and hardening heart tonight. He chose to speak through my mom and through a parable of the relationship between the two Captains in the story.

See, the one thing with the military is that I always seem to find the most relate-able parables in it, in regards to what our life with Christ should be.

Here’s one, shared with me by Aaress of On the Baseline from a devotional by Max Lucado:

A Life of Service

God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose—to carry us safely to the other shore. This is no cruise ship; it’s a battleship. We aren’t called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life
of service.

Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.

Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call . . . .

We each followed him across the gangplank of his grace onto the same boat. There is one captain and one destination. Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern.

– Grace for the Moment

What I learned in K-19 was Surrendering to my Captain, and Trusting Fully in Him, even when it seems that He is making a decision that doesn’t make sense. For those of you who have never seen K-19, here’s a brief synopsis from IMDB:

The story of USSR’s first nuclear ballistic submarine, which suffered a malfunction in its nuclear reactor on its maiden voyage in the North Atlantic in 1961. The submarine’s crew, led by the unyielding Captain Alexei Vostrikov, races against time to prevent a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster which threatens not only the lives of his crew, but has the potential to ignite a world war between the super powers.

What that doesn’t tell you though, is that before the launch, the sub was previously captained by Captain Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson), who was replaced by Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) right before the voyage and made executive officer instead. Most of the men on the crew had previously sailed under the command of Captain Polenin, so you can imagine the tension between the two ‘Captains’, and various members of the crew, for the majority of this voyage.

But the beautiful thing, that taught me a lesson, was this:

Captain Vostrikov is not favored among the men, partly because they loved their previous captain and didn’t want the change of command, and partly because Vostrikov requires them to do many difficult tasks for seemingly no apparent reason. For the majority of the voyage, you think of him as a man with no regard for the crew who enjoys forcing them to do ridiculous things without any explanation, seemingly just because he says so. And there is a LOT of tension, and possibly some slight resentment, between him and Polenin, especially when one particular incident seems to go too far. But in the latter part of the movie, two of the crew-members basically take Vostrikov into custody, and transfer the power of command over to Polenin. Polenin shocks everyone by turning those two’s guns back on them, forcing them under arrest and confined to their quarters, and giving the power back to Vostrikov, who is the rightful Captain. Right after that, we discover that really, there is a reason (and good ones!)  for all the demands that Vostrikov made on the crew.

This reminded me of how, when Christ becomes the Captain of our lives, we’re many times fine with it at first. But when He starts directing us in ways that we don’t understand, and don’t like, we’re quick to want to take back control.

Polenin taught me the importance of surrendering control of my life and trusting my Captain implicitly. And if we can imagine a human captain worth following, how much more so can we trust our Heavenly Captain who is infallible and never fails? We don’t have to worry that He may not know what He’s doing. It may be painful, but we can trust that it’s for a good reason, even though it’s so hard to go through.

I guess what I mean to say is, God has shown me tonight how I need to follow Him on a deeper level than I have been. I need to go below the surface. I have Surrendered my life to my Captain, and now I need to live it out following and trusting Him. I need to grow in His Love, and Live a Life of Love. I need to be patient with my brother. I need to truly think about and know the meaning of what it means to follow Him and His teachings. It’s so easy to ‘know’ something in your head, but not truly know what it really means in your heart. Do you know what I mean?

And you know, it’s not just “I need to do this, and I need to do that.” It’s what is. It’s that things have changed… not need to change, but have. I have given control to Jesus and need to leave it there, not take it back.

I know this has been a long, wordy post, and I’m sorry my thoughts probably aren’t very clear (this is pretty much all raw, unedited writing). I also wasn’t expecting this to be my “I’m back!” post. But it just came, and I needed to share with you guys.

*sigh*. I’m so tired, I hope this all actually made sense.

I promise Belize posts, etc. are coming soon! (when my mind is thinking clearer!) And thank you so much for all your sweet comments; I’ll write back asap!

OH! And just so you all know….. my little cousin Levi was born this last Tuesday! (February 23rd) So, pics coming soon.

Love you all. God bless you.

I hope to be in a better (not so tired) frame of mind tomorrow! (and if so then I might make a few edits/additions. 😉 )

~Good night, Kimmy~

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2010 12:03 pm

    Thank you so very much for sharing this Kimmy! It was a fantastic post- deep and I have a feeling it will be making me think very much, so thank you!

    *hug* Praying for you!

  2. March 3, 2010 12:41 pm

    That is a great movie and very thought provoking. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.
    Oh, and I gave you an award on my blog.

  3. March 4, 2010 12:37 am

    Thank you so much for the powerful reminder! God’s been reminding me lately that He’s in control —- and like you said, a ship can only have one captain. And for it to be successful, I had better not be at the wheel! 🙂

  4. March 11, 2010 10:36 pm

    Thanks guys!! I’m glad this made sense to someone other than me. 😉

    And thank you, Hannah! 😀

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