Same storm, different boats. Pastor Rick Warren used this analogy in a recent conversation with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel (HTB Brompton). Our world has been besieged by relentless waves and hurricanes of grief, loss, pain, confusion and paralysis. We’re all stuck in a collective limbo; to ease lockdown or to not ease lockdown? The same prevarication is rinsed and repeated over a 24 hour news cycle.
Truth is, although we might all be wading in Storm Corona right now, we’re not all in the same boat. Some people are furiously trying to stay afloat in a row boat whilst others are blazing past in a speedboat leaving behind white streaks in the water. Still, some people are cruising on a yacht whilst others are literally floating aboard a palatial cruise ship. Whether in the row boat with leaks or aboard the floating castle, the passengers can’t get off. They’re all on lockdown.
We might all be wading in Storm Corona right now, we’re not all in the same boat. Some people are furiously trying to stay afloat in a row boat whilst others are blazing past in a speedboat. Whichever category you belong to, be grateful you have a boat.Tweet
Basically people, lockdown in Buckingham palace ain’t the same as lock down on a council estate in Peckham. Same storm, different boats.
Maybe lockdown has unlocked your creative juices and you’re buzzing like a Duracell bunny because you’re experiencing lockdown in a yacht (metaphorically), that’s cool. Do what you gotta do to maximise the down time and mine purpose out of the momentary inconvenience.
But can I ask you to lift your head and cast your eyes over the horizon one moment and spare a thought for your fellow survivor paddling away in that row boat, defenseless against the inclement weather. Lockdown might have activated your inner Duracell bunny but Corona has dampened their soul, drive, thirst, hunger. Life for them right now is just down right hard and a soggy mess.
The point is we are all experiencing this Covid storm from different perspectives, heights and valleys. Two things therefore to bear in mind:
#1 Be merciful. I know you don’t get why your neighbour is itching to get back to work; maybe if you could see the state of the boat he’s rowing in, you’d have have a bit more empathy. Your colleague who is always asking for when the office can open again might be doubling up as a punching bag at home in the hands of her partner. You just never know. Empathy costs us nothing.
#2 Be grateful. Even if you are in a dingy, hole ridden boat, at least you’re in a boat. Would you rather take your chances in the open water without the shelter of even a rickety row boat? Most of us have something to be thankful for. Breathe in. Breathe out. That right there is a blessing to be grateful for.
Take a moment today to reflect on where you’re experiencing the storm from and how worse it could be. Then, take another minute to pray for those whose boats and lives might be in more precarious conditions.
Let’s be real – we’re all in this together, but we’re not all in the same boat.
P.S. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. I pray that the peace of God which surpasses understanding envelope and guard your heart even at this time, irrespective of what boat you’re experiencing this pandemic from. Remember: underneath you are the everlasting arms. You’ll get wet, but you’ll survive.
With unvarnished love,