MESSAGES

Did someone ever send you a message you didn’t get?  Perhaps they sent you an email and you skipped over it.  Maybe you missed their phone call, or failed to listen to the voicemail?  Messages can get lost in a number of ways in this day and age.  We are inundated with data that come from all directions.  It’s easy to lose track of messages.

Many years ago I had a bad habit of losing messages.  I’d forget to check my voicemail, or skim through emails.  Truthfully, most of the time I only heard half of what was spoken directly to me.  But worst of all, I had turned a deaf ear to the one person (being) who was the most important- GOD!  For some time I sensed God was trying to tell me something.  And this something wasn’t a minor detail.  It was a message bigger than any mailbox could hold.  It wasn’t until I was literally knocked off my feet, and out of my comfort zone, that I was able to hone in on this message.  But once I did, my ears and eyes were so alert I couldn’t ignore the messages if I tried.

That’s basically how I was led to write the book, What are the Chances?  After listening to the message I knew the Lord wanted me to share it.  This message was part of my calling.  For each person God’s calling is different.  God knows what we are good at, and he knows our heart.  He will use those gifts to further his Kingdom.  He will start with a message.  He is patient.  He may send you thousands of messages, waiting for you to listen- waiting for you to respond.

Some people think the RMS Titanic was simply a luxurious passenger ship- its only job being to transport thousands of passengers across the ocean to their destinations.  Not true.  Do you know what the RMS stands for on Titanic’s name?  It stands for ROYAL MAIL STEAMER, OR ROYAL MAIL SHIP.  Yes, it would seem that mail, or MESSAGES, were an integral part of Titanic.

According to the National Postal Museum of the Smithsonian, Titanic  carried a boatload of mail.  It carried up to nine million pieces of mail.  This means Titanic’s job was not only to deliver people, but also MESSAGES.

Of course, Titanic ended up sinking to the bottom of the ocean and all that mail (messages) went down with it!  In fact, the mail room was one of the first places to flood after Titanic hit an iceberg.  Located in the starboard hold, the mail room quickly filled with water, threatening the entire mail system on board.

There were five mail clerks on board Titanic.  These men took mail seriously, and risked their very lives to save these messages.  In fact, when the Titanic hit the iceberg these five men were celebrating the birthday of Oscar Scott Woody, one of the mail clerks.  Rather than fleeing for safety, these men bravely ran to the mail room and attempted to save the mail (messages).  By doing this, they were putting their own lives in jeopardy and possibly forfeiting any chance of getting on a lifeboat.

Try as they may, all five men lost their lives while trying to save those messages.  Of these brave mailmen, only two bodies were found at sea- the body of Oscar Scott Woody, and the body of John Starr March.  The other bodies were not able to be located.

When Mr. Woody’s body was found he still had some facing slips.  These slips were used to identify the destination a piece of mail was going to.  They would be placed on top of a pile of mail, indicating city to which the mail would be delivered.  They helped the message get to the right place.  Some of the facing slips found on Mr. Woody’s body were ones for New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.  His body was labeled as #167.  As luck would have it, this mail clerk, born on April 15, and dying on April 15, left behind a message in and of itself.

What is that message you ask?  Well, to tell you the truth, it’s a message within a message.  To delve into the message we have to delve into Titanic.  It was a beautiful, supposedly unsinkable ship.  Carrying passengers from the wealthy elite, all the way down to the racially impoverished, Titanic carried a message right across its steel clad hull.

At first glance, the message is one of separation of wealth and class.  The rich were afforded the most privilege and essentially were given access to the lifeboats because of this.  As a result, a substantially larger amount of first class citizens were saved as opposed to the third class.  The first class had access to the upper decks, which held the lifeboats.  By contrast, the third class had to fight their way out of the lower decks, which were locked by a gate, diminishing their hopes of quickly reaching the lifeboats.  As some would see it, Titanic stood for wealth and privilege stomping all over those who were less privileged.

Perhaps that is one message, but surely there is another.  By most it is known that Titanic, though it was deemed “unsinkable”, was warned several times about impending icebergs in the area.  Actually, did you know Titanic was warned at least SEVEN times that dangerous icebergs were in the vicinity?  Well, now you know!  You would think the prospect of dangerous icebergs would cause Titanic’s operators to steer the ship to another path, or perhaps even slow down the ship.  No, no no- not the Titanic.  After all, she is unsinkable.

Interestingly enough, even Titanic’s wireless operators had a hard time dealing with messages.  The wireless operators were responsible for relaying telegraph messages from one ship to another, and from one passenger to another.  They provided a way for news to be posted on the ship as well, connecting messages from the outside world to the ship as it traveled the sea.  But surely the most important job of these telegraph operators was to relay safety information.  One ship could tell another ship about icebergs, or “pack ice” in the area.  They could warn each other, or even help one another if needed. 

Unfortunately, Titanic’s operators were not always able to decipher which messages were the most important to relay.  The senior wireless operator, Jack Phillips, is a classic example of how important messages can get lost.  Mr. Phillips was busy the night Titanic hit the iceberg.  What was he busy with you ask?  He was dealing with relaying passengers’ messages to each other, rather than warnings of an impending iceberg.  At one point, Phillips was dealing with so many passenger messages he became overwhelmed.  A ship called the Mesaba, had sent a message warning about ice in the area.  Though Phillips acknowledged it, he did not deliver the message to the Bridge in a timely manner.  He instead continued working on sending passenger messages.   This was precious time which could have been used to avoid icebergs.

Phillips would come to regret his decision to ignore the message from the Mesaba.  When asked later about why he did not immediately deliver the warning about the ice to the Bridge he stated:
“I put the message under a paper weight at my elbow, just until I squared up what I was doing before sending it to the Bridge.” 

Isn’t that what we all do sometimes?  We just put messages off while we deal with all the things that tie us up from day to day.

To make matters worse for Phillips, he was all alone when receiving some of these iceberg warnings.  His partner, Harold Bride, had gone to sleep for a few hours, leaving Phillips to deal with all the message traffic.

By 10:55 another message came through.  This time it was from a ship called the Californian.  The message was alerting Titanic that their ship had been stopped due to significant amounts of ice in the area.  When the message came through to Phillips it came in very LOUD and strong.  It was so strong it BLASTED INTO PHILLIP’S EARS.  In response to the loudness, and the abrupt interruption, Phillips screamed , “Shut up, Shut up!”  The operator of the Californian stopped sending the warning message and eventually turned the radio off.   This was a fatal decision.  Had Phillips listened to the loud warning the ship could have been spared.  In addition, if the Californian’s operator had been more patient and persistent with the message, maybe Phillips would have listened.

As it was, the ship hit a massive iceberg.  Most of the berg lay below the surface, allowing for devastating damage to the unsuspecting ship.  When Titanic hit the iceberg, most of the passengers were sleeping.  Harold Bride, the other operator that was sleeping, woke up as soon as the ship hit the iceberg- though he didn’t know the ship had hit anything.  At midnight the Captain told the wireless operators to send out a distress signal to nearby ships.  Unfortunately the Titanic’s operators could no longer communicate via radio with the Californian (which was the closest ship to them) since their radio had been turned off.  The message line had been turned off!  The only other recourse was to use rocket flares.

By around 12:45 a.m. the crew of the ship The Californian noticed some rockets being sent up into the air.  These were actually distress signals being sent by Titanic.  There was much confusion as to what the rockets were, and where they were coming from.   The crew of the Californian stated they had even tried to send signals back using a Morse lamp, but received no response.  Other testimonies state it was hard to tell if it was a ship in the distance, or just distorted stars, or perhaps a mirage of some sort.  Either way you look at it, the messages, both warnings and distress signals, were all mixed up.  They weren’t heeded- they weren’t deciphered, and they weren’t dealt with.

When Titanic sank the blame for her sinking was thrown in all directions.  It was thrown at the builders- it was thrown at the crew- at the wireless operators- at the Captain- at the crew of the Californian, and it was thrown at the rich and elite.  But, who was to blame?  Or should I say, WHAT was to blame?

Hmm, we could debate this for a while but no matter what conclusion we come to, you must see a theme here.  Can you see it clearly?  It’s MESSAGES.  A big important message was going down with the ship.  Millions of messages.  Messages that were ignored.  Messages that were disregarded.  Messages that sank.

Do you remember the mail clerks?   Do you remember that one of the first rooms to be flooded was the mail room? (the messages room).   The brave postal workers tried to the death to save the mail- to save the messages, but it was too late.

Are there messages you are receiving and ignoring?  Are you too busy to retrieve the messages, or are you too indifferent to care about them?  I’m not judging.  I have been there and done that.  But ask yourself this question- Is God trying to send you a message?  Is the noise or distractions around you keeping you from listening, or discerning the message?

I’d say there are a lot of messages being sent right now.  If you look at the world in the last 30 days you would see a lot of messages are out there.  Islamic terrorism, hate crimes, racial tensions, Presidential woes and economic strife are just a few of things going on around us.  Since the 2014/2015 series of blood moons, so many things have occurred.  The emergence of ISIS, mass killings, unrest in the Middle East, the instability of the European Union, wars, and riots galore are becoming commonplace instead of rare and random. 

People keep saying, “We just need to get along.  We just need to be peaceful.  We just need to help each other.”  That’s well and good, but it’s not enough.  WE NEED JESUS.  He is the only one who can save a sinking ship.  Money won’t do it.  World leaders can’t do it.  Talking won’t do it.  Only the saving grace of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, can do it.

I find it interesting when I read the story of Titanic and I see how so many people put their trust in an unsinkable ship.  So many ignored warnings.  The truth is, God will and does send warnings to his people.  But many times we are asleep, much like Harold Bride was (one of Titanic’s wireless operators).  Even the Bride of Christ (the Church) can easily fall asleep, waiting for Jesus to return.  They can easily be sucked into things that are not important, or activities that just keep us busy and entangled.  Meanwhile, God has some very important things he’s trying to tell us- things he wants us to do.   Jack Phillips (the other wireless operator) had messages literally blaring in his ears, yet he ignored themSometimes, messages are loud and in our face, but we still turn a blind eye.

Two of the blood moons (total lunar eclipses) of 2014/2015 occurred on significant dates.  One eclipse (April 15, 2014) occurred on the anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, as well as the death of Abraham Lincoln (April 15) – this blood moon also occurred on Passover.  Now why is this significant?  Because the Titanic split in two and sank to the bottom of the ocean– it divided.  Abraham Lincoln helped save a nation that was DIVIDED!  Right now it is obvious our nation is DIVIDED.  We are divided politically, economically, religiously and racially.  In the Bible it says a divided house cannot stand.  The only one who can unify this country is Jesus.  No one else can do it .  The message here is TURN BACK TO GOD.  God can heal our land if we will let him.  No human can do it.  Only the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST WHOSE BLOOD WAS SPILLED ON PASSOVER CAN DO IT.

One of the other blood moons, which occurred on April 4, 2015, lines up with the death of civil rights leader Martin Luther King (April 4, 1968)  Have you been looking at the headlines in the last few months?  Innocent people are dying because of hate and violence, sparked by racial divides.  Citizens and police officers are being mowed down in cold blood.  People like Martin Luther King fought for racial equality through peaceful means.  What would he say if he could see the violence spewing forth in record numbers?

The April 4, 2015 blood moon (also occurring on Passover) also lines up with when the United States liberated its first concentration camp during World War II (The Holocaust).  Look at what’s happening in Israel over the past two years.  Constant violence is occurring in God’s holy city of Jerusalem.  The United Nations, with France at the helm, is trying to divide Jerusalem.  Wake up sleepy ones!  The Titanic is at our heels.  We need to wake up and pray for our nation and the world.

Some will say I’m just being negative.  No, I’m just looking at the messages and deciphering them.  I’m just giving you a little to digest.  Honestly, if I told you half of what I see, you would be overwhelmed.

So, am I saying there’s no hope? No, absolutely not.  We always have hope in JESUS.    No matter how it all goes, Jesus will come for his bride.

Before I sign off on this blog I’ll leave you with one more Titanic story.  Here it goes.  When Titanic sank the crew boarded its lifeboats in chaos.  They weren’t boarded in an orderly manner, and unfortunately they were not filled to capacity.  In some cases, lifeboats were only filled halfway.  There was one particular lifeboat, known as Collapsible A, that never really got loaded at all.  The officers of Titanic attempted to lower it so it could be boarded properly, but a series of mishaps caused them to ditch the effort altogether.  That didn’t stop desperate passengers from trying to load into it on their own.  Between 15 and 20 passengers tried to climb into the boat after it washed off the doomed ship.  One particular couple did their best to secure a seat on this boat.  The husband was able to make it into the boat, but his wife, straddled by the cold frigid water, was unable to haul herself aboard.  Her husband witnessed her quick, gut wrenching death in the frigid water.  Overwhelmed by grief, he clutched her wedding ring, holding it close to his chest.  Unfortunately, even he did not survive the ordeal.  He died of exposure on Collapsible Lifeboat A.  His body would not be recovered, but the lifeboat he was in would be found a month later on May 13, 1912.  Crew members of the ship Oceanic would find the bodies of three passengers, decomposing in the lifeboat.  It is assumed the bodies of this couple were both buried at sea.  But, they left something behind.  While searching Collapsible Lifeboat A the crew of Oceanic would find a ringAt the bottom of the boat they found a wedding ring.  It was the wedding ring of this ill-fated couple.  They were third class passengers, and at one time, so full of life.  Their ring was a reminder of their love, and their promise to one another.

When I picture that wedding ring I think about one thing- the BRIDE- the wedding supper.  You see, those of us that have Christ as our savior have a wedding ring.  We have a promise.  Our groom, Jesus, is never going to leave us or forsake us.

The world is going to get cold.  It’s already frigid isn’t it?  The love of many is growing cold like an iceberg.  If we cling to the world we are doing nothing more than clinging to a wayward lifeboat, drifting in an ice-berg ridden ocean.  That will never bring peace.  That will never bring hope.  In the end Jesus is our lifeboat.  He is our grace.  He is our Savior.  So, put on your wedding ring and keep it on.  One day the groom will return.  He is coming for his true Bride.  And he wants you to be listening.  He wants you to have your eyes open.  He wants you to BE READY.  Don’t ignore your calling.  Don’t ignore the messages.  The Kingdom is now and you are part of the crew.  You don’t have to be rich to make a difference.  You don’t have to be “important.”  You just have to listen to the messages and do something!!

 

Note:  The RMS in RMS Titanic stands for ROYAL MAIL SHIP.  Don’t you know that as a child of the King, you are ROYALTY.   The King will trust you with his message………Share the good news- JESUS!!!

copyright: Angela Rodriguez, All Rights Reserved

 

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