Have you ever thought about why some ships are able to survive major storms while at sea, while others are not?
I had not until my dad passed away. There are lessons you and I can learn from the way a ship plans and prepares to weather to scariest of storms. Here they are:
HOW THE BEST SHIPS AND CREWMEN PREPARE FOR STORMS
- They get the Weather Report
To steer clear of hurricanes, mariners need good weather information.
This parallels to life’s “storms”. We all know that sickness, sorrow, pain, and death are going to happen. These are the “conditions” in life that are unavoidable.
So I think we should all be continuously running a “report” about which life storms may be in the near future. We should also prepare for the unexpected ones that may arise.
By doing so, we can “map out” our course of action.
Months ago I asked the questions, “How will I act if my dad does pass away soon?”
“What kind of person do I want to be in that moment? How do I want to show up for my family?”
It does not change the pain or sadness I am feeling right now. But it does make a difference.
- The Ballast
I had no clue what this word meant but apparently the most dangerous ship in a hurricane is an empty one. That's because the weight of cargo helps stabilize the ship against the waves.
“What will anchor me down when my dad does pass away?” I thought.
“What routines do I have that will help me?”
For me, I knew the answers:
- My morning power hour with God: Bible, devotional, journal, meditate
- Prayer with Daniela everyday
- Constant connection with my sisters and mom
- Working out everyday, even if just stretching. Getting my body moving will be essential to my healing
- Eating well
- Keeping TV and screen time to a minimum so I can get quality sleep
Basically, I wanted to continue doing all the things that normally make me happy and feel good, amplifying a few of them as well.
These are the things that ground me in my life. And when a storm hits, I will avoid the temptation to run away from all of those good things.
- They have Ports to run to
There are places along the route that the ship can head to for shelter if they see a storm coming. Great mariners look for these in advance.
The parallel to life here is, “Who will I talk with on a daily basis? A therapist? A friend? A pastor?”
I know and “preach” often that having someone to talk to is key to healing. So for me, it is my pastor, my best friend, and my wife.
Scheduled time each week to share my truest heart and talk through some of the scary things that happened with my dad over the past two weeks.
We all need “ports” to run to for help.
- The crew knows which waters to avoid and which ones to go towards.
The crew has already thought about the storms. They have already planned out in their mind how they will react, which waters to head towards, and which to avoid.
This wraps it all up. I decided in advance I would AVOID the shark infested waters of:
- Drug and alcohol consumption
- Binge watching TV and anything else that would distract my mind and take it off of the pain of losing my dad
- Eating “feel good foods” (that only make you feel good when they are in contact with your taste buds, then make you feel awful)
- Shutting people out
And instead, I would run towards the waters that I have mentioned throughout this entire article:
- My church family
- My immediate family
- My relatives
- My PFP family
- Great books
- My purpose in life
- Continue the work my dad left for me
- Honoring him with the way I treat people and care for my family
So many beautiful waters to run towards.
With all that said, it is still hard. I have never had to grieve before, so I will be learning a lot during this process.
I won’t be perfect during this process and do not pretend to be. But I believe we can all learn from the best ships. I believe there are better ways to handle storms.
Our mission at PFP this week is for the hundreds of student-athletes we work with will be positively impacted by this message. Our hope is that because of my pain, they will be more equipped and prepared to handle the future storms in their life with grace, poise, and integrity.
Dedicated to your success,
Coach Andrew Simpson