I know, gloomy title for an article. But it's true. We are all on the proverbial sinking ship. We may not know when it's going to sink, but sink it will. Our days are numbered and then our number gets called and we find ourselves headed to that great all-you-can-eat-chicken-wing-buffet in the sky. So maybe that's not exactly how you picture it, but you have to agree that we are living on borrowed time. I realize that's a pretty depressing statement coming from a motivational speaker. They should have me write a children's book and the last page would read, "And they all lived happily ever after – except for Farmer Brown who got hit by a truck the next day on his way to the mailbox."
There are three scenes that I remember vividly from that movie "Titanic" – the scene where the musician plays his violin as they sink – the scene where the captain chooses to die with his ship – and the earlier scene where they show the fancy uptight people on the top deck drinking fine wine and listening to classical music while they strain under the weight of trying to impress each other – juxtapositioned (hope I'm using that word right) with the penniless common folk in the belly of the ship who are dancing arm in arm to the rich thriving beat of the fiddle's music – their fingers dirty, their hair in strings, their arms thrown out in delicious abandonment as their wide toothless grins express the hope that carries them through despair.
I was struck by the polarity of those two images and how they symbolize two very different ways to live your life. You can live your life stiff and proper, obsessed with appearances, measuring the value in others by the degree of china or thread count in a pillow, measuring every step as if all the world were watching and you so desperately don't want to let them see you fall. Or you can live your life desperately happy despite your circumstances – looking for every opportunity to throw out your arms and dance.
I will admit that there are many times in my life where I find myself upstairs – lured into that world that tells you it's all about making it to the top of the ship. But it's not long before I find myself running back down to the belly of the ship to find the common folk – to link arms with the toothless guy with the big grin – and just dance.
We don't know when our ship will sink, only that one day it will sink. Will you go down trying to grab all your fine things? Will you be playing your violin until the very last moment? Will you choose to go down with your ship? Or will you spend your time dancing, arm in arm with the common folk? The choice is yours. The days are numbered.
See you in the belly of the ship.