Living in an Uncertain World

By: Glenda Lofton, Ph.D.

Aug 10, 2021

In 1969, when Bret and Bart were small, after many months of looking, Tommy purchased our first boat--a used, 15-foot pleasure boat with a deep V and a 100-horsepower engine.  It was the beginning of many adventures and a few "mis"adventures--primarily on our annual, week-long trip to Bridgeside Motel and Marina at Grand Isle.  Typically, Tommy and I were so intent on making the most of our vacation that the week was half over before we began to relax and really enjoy ourselves.  On one trip (during the first half of the week), Tommy, Bret, Bart, and I were hurrying through the pass that separates Grand Isle from Elmer's Island to go speck fishing.  The channel that flows between the islands is deep but not always clearly marked, and there are a number of sandbars that border it. We were all trying to watch for the sandbars when, you guessed it, we stuck on one. Tommy was exasperated!  We had been stuck on sandbars before, and he was the one who had to jump into the water and push us off.  Without saying a word, he jumped defiantly over the side of the boat and into the water.  But this time he didn't land on the sandbar as he usually did.  Part of the boat was on the sandbar, but part was over the channel.  As we looked over the side of the boat, all that we could see was his cap floating on the top of the water.  When he finally came up, all he could see were three wide-eyed faces staring anxiously over the side of the boat.  With a great sense of relief, we all burst out laughing.


Thirty-seven years later, a group of us--this time family and friends--once more set out for a week at Grand Isle.  The guys were going by boat from Pecan Island where Bret had a camp, and the girls by automobile.  This time the guys were in a bigger boat, complete with a GPS and a depth finder, and the channel in which the boat was traveling was marked by red and green buoys to show the way. guessed it! Once again the boat got stuck on a sandbar near Morgan City.  This time, however, the boat was too big for four men and even a shrimp boat to push it off.  The sandbar was too big and the water too low for even a tugboat who came along to wash the sand away.  Kind ship captains and shipyard managers offered advice by radio and cell phone and sought ways to help, but soon it was dark and the boat remained on the sandbar overnight. 


About 8:30 the next morning, I called Tommy on his cell phone. "We're off!" he announced jubilantly.  "What happened?" I asked.  "Who got you off?"  "God did," he said.  "God did?" I asked.  "Yes," he said.  "A small local thunderstorm came up--the kind we always hate when we're out in the boat.  It lasted only about 30 minutes, but the waves kept getting higher and higher.  The boat began to bump up and down on the waves, and I started the engines and slowly backed off." "What time did you get off?" I asked again.  "About 7:45," he noted.  As Tommy told the story, I got "goosebumps."  You see, unable to sleep, I had gotten up at 7:15, knelt by my bed, and said, "God, there are big problems in the world.  There's a war between Israel and Lebanon.  The terrorists are trying to blow up airplanes.  People are still hurting from hurricanes here at Grand Isle and other places.  This is not that important, but if you could help Tommy get off that sandbar, I would be so grateful."  "At about 7:15,” Tommy said, "a storm came, and within 30 minutes the boat was off the sandbar."


How do you cope with the sandbars in your life? Do you dive in even when you're in over your head?  Do you take time out to see the humor in the situation or the opportunities for learning?  Do you use the resources that are available to you--the wisdom and knowledge of others, guidebooks, technology, the people who care and want to help?  Do you pray?  What gives you the hope and strength to persevere? 


These questions seem particularly relevant as we deal with the COVID virus, the recent tragic sinking of the ship off Grand Isle, and other world events. When this happened back in 2006, Billy Graham had published a new book titled, The Journey: How to Live by Faith in an Uncertain World. In the book he reminds us that the Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).  When we pray, we are making a "declaration of dependence" on God, knowing that God loves us and is concerned about every detail of our lives (even the sandbars).   


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today


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