Life is a sea of responsibilities.
Upon the daunting waters of duty and obligation, a man sails aboard an iron ship of maturity built by the strict guidance of his father’s discipline and maintained with the loving devotion of his mother’s wisdom.
He endures through the storms of adversity and torment.
He persists through the diseases of uncertainty and self-doubt.
He holds tightly to his railings of faith and confidence when confronted with the colossal and relentless waves of grief, hopelessness, and death.
He does these things because he has learned from his mother and father that if he could only persevere long enough to reach the conclusion of his perilous journey, he would, at last, reach the home to which he always belonged.
However, his journey was not always perilous.
At many moments at his life upon those vast and unknown waters, he was given the opportunity to anchor his ship in shallow waters and find rest upon the islands of comfort and tranquillity.
It is at these moments where he was able to recline and enjoy the blessings that have come forth from the challenges he had faced and the hardships that he had overcome.
Surely, in those brief moments of rest, he had found peace.
Yet one day after many months of travel, he came across one island that was unlike all the others.
The fruits were sweeter than any he had ever tasted.
The waters from the river were clean and pure.
The sun made the air around him warm and comforting.
Though he knew that this was not the place his father and mother had told him of, to him, this was a paradise unlike any other.
Soon, the time had come for him to depart from the island and continue his journey but the man noticed that there as a raging storm far off in the direction that he was to travel.
Thinking back on his joyful stay on the island, he thought little of staying for another day until the storm passed by and he would be able to sail forward peacefully.
The next morning, he awoke to see that the storm he had hoped to avoid hadn’t passed despite his waiting a days time.
Once again thinking back to his joyful stay on the island, he decided to remain yet another day in hope that the storm would pass by and he would be able to sail forward peacefully.
The next morning, he awoke to see that the storm had actually grown slightly bigger than he had originally seen it the previous day.
He himself was in little danger at the moment as the island he was on was a far distance away and the storm appeared to be moving away from it.
Yet the more he observed it, the more he realized that this was unlike any storm he had ever encountered before.
Its range appeared to span the width of entire cities.
With every sound of thunder columns of lighting as wide as entire ships struck the ocean’s surface.
The ink-black clouds cloaked the suns light in a pure uninterrupted darkness.
If he attempted to pass through it as he did all the others, he would surely die.
And so believing that the storm would present too much of challenge to pass through at this time, he waited on the island patiently with the hope that he would eventually be able to continue his journey.
Yet one morning, he awoke to see a woman more beautiful than any other woman he had ever laid eyes picking fruit not far from him.
He approached her and learned that her name was Jubilee.
He regaled her with tales of his stories and travels of his journies and explorations.
She was amazed at him and, in a short time, they came to love each other.
Slowly, the thought of remaining on the island for the foreseeable future became more and more appealing to him.
Amazingly, the storm for which he had feared for his life to pass had eventually moved so far away that was only barely visible as a black speck far off in the distance.
He promises himself that when the storm finally disappears from view completely, he would take his new wife and they would sail for their promised home together.
Over time, the things of the island that had once been beautiful gradually begin to lose their luster.
The once sweet fruits start to taste bitter.
The once clean rivers have become stagnant and murky.
The once warm and sunny skies have become a distant memory to the cloudy skies and rain.
The once blissful life he and Jubilee had lived for so long was beginning to become tiresome.
With this in mind, the man decided that the time to leave the island had finally come.
Travel would be safe as the storm that he had once feared had disappeared completely from view many years ago.
And so, he found his old boat, he and his wife gathered all of their things, and they sailed away from the island.
But something was wrong.
Days and days after sailing, the man couldn’t help but notice that they were slowing down as they continued.
Soon, the day came when the realized that they were slowing down because they were sinking very slowly due to small holes in the hull of his ship created by rust.
Jubilee asked him if they would be in any danger but he noticed that while they wouldn’t be able to move as fast as he would like too, they were in no danger of sinking.
Never the less, they at that moment agreed to stop at the next island they encountered and patch the holes before as soon as they could.
Yet at that moment they heard the crash of thunder in the distance behind them.
To his horror, he saw a storm that was even more menacing and threating than the storm he had hoped to avoid all those years ago.
It had come from seemingly out of nowhere and was headed in their direction.
Its approach was slow.
He consoled his wife saying that so long as they remained in the ship, they would be able to keep out of the storm’s range long enough to hopefully reach some form of land.
Yet as days went by with no land in sight, they soon became weak and hungry from the lack of food and the ship continued to slow down due to the holes in its hull slowly taking in more and more water.
Soon it became inevitable that the storm would reach them.
And so, on the day before the storm would reach and they would be condemned to die, Jubilee asked him if the place he was sailing too was just as perfect as he had always told her.
He told her it was, yet also lamented that because he did not maintain his ship during his time with her in paradise, they both will have to pay the price.
“It is not so”, she told him.
“It’s better for one of us to have a hope of living than for both of us to die” she continued.
“What do you mean?” he responded.
“Live Isaiah, live for both of us”, she said before leaping off the boat.
The man was terrified.
Yet without a moment of thought, he grabbed her hand.
“let me go” she pleaded, “I’m too weak to move anymore, I’ll just get you killed if I stay”.
He struggled but managed to pull her back aboard and told her “There is no life that could bring me joy knowing I had sacrifice you to have it”.
At that moment both of them too tired to move, the smiled and held each other as the storm finally caught up to them and they were swallowed by the darkness.
What a tragedy it is, that because he had forsaken the discipline of his father upon the shores of comfort and exchanged the wisdom of his mother for pleasure, the vessel of his maturity failed him in his moment of greatest need.
This is the tragedy of complacency, that by disguising itself as comfort and contentment, it leads good men to weakness and leads weak men into death.
“For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them;”
Yet though while there are tragedies that end in just suffering, this is not one of this tales.
That’s because this story isn’t over yet.
This is 30 Days of Growth: 22
See how this story continuesorrow