With the pandemic spreading, the dying escalating, economies sinking, and livelihoods smashed around the globe, I was strangely reminded of the movie Titanic. The coronavirus is like the unsuspecting iceberg which we have tragically struck! And it seems we are all sinking.
Life changes in the instant after the ship strikes the iceberg as people have to quickly come to terms with what to do. We too must now adjust fast to the changes brought on by the virus. I would like to suggest the following parallels to the current coronavirus pandemic and the Titanic movie. I trust that lessons learned can give us a nudge toward positive decision making in this season.
Titanic Lesson 1- Spot an iceberg by looking ahead.
The Titanic story reveals that no one was looking ahead until it was too late. When the iceberg was finally spotted the vessel was heading directly towards it; the impact was inevitable! The problem was that complacency and over confidence had blinded the crew and captain alike to dangers. The Titanic was not unsinkable and so are we.
We sink faster and suddenly when we fail to be vigilant. Many dangers can arise in this season. For example, not enough sleep will lower immunity or not enough community time can lead to isolation and sinking into depression. We must look ahead and seek to adapt.
Titanic Lesson 2- Hitting an iceberg means we are going to sink.
The Titanic story shows that after they struck the iceberg there was a limited time before other things would go wrong, the vessel would take on water and eventually sink. Given people knew the vessel would sink, they had to accept it and move on to survive.
We may only have a certain time frame to manoeuvre. We may have had a job in aviation, but now longer term what industry may be more stable? Is it time to do counselling on-line and do that course you have always wanted to do? What you work on now, may bear the fruit in a year or two. You don’t have to sink.
Titanic Lesson 3- When it’s sinking, find a way to stay afloat.
The Titanic story reveals that when the boat was sinking everyone tried to enter the life boats. No point staying on a sinking ship.
The question is how can we stay afloat as the economy is sinking and our usual source of income may be lost? We need a lifeboat. Be resourceful. Reuse certain things like plastic or paper. A lot of money can be saved! Cook food instead of buying it. Store it, don’t throw excess out unnecessarily. Budget for meals; work out exactly how much is needed. Find out what government support or other support is available. Return to God and seek him heartily for his purpose.
Titanic Lesson 4- When you hit an iceberg, don’t beat yourself up.
The Titanic story shows how the captain was paralysed by condemnation when he knew he would go down. He must have felt and unimaginable sense of shame and condemnation as he realised he had not been vigilant as the captain. He resided to dying at the helm as the waters entered his cabin; he died inside the moment he knew he would sink. He loathed himself and beat himself up.
We may have made a mistake in our planning. Things may not have gone to plan. But, don’t beat yourself up. God says in his word that, “He works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” Don’t dwell on, ‘why did I do such and such?!’ But, God does not condemn you, neither should you condemn yourself. We need to know that God is using all things for good. (See Romans chapter 8, verses 28-29)
Titanic Lesson 5- You will not survive by treading water in freezing temperatures.
The Titanic story reveals that many fell into the water and tried to swim. Initially many were splashing in the water, fighting for life. In a short time due to the subzero temperature almost all died immediately, while some clung to floating objects and survived long enough to be rescued.
We can’t remain in a dire state, treading water for too long. If unwell, don’t put off seeking help. If finances are spilling out, seek help. Talk to others. Don’t bottle it up your emotions. Treading in icy water kills.
Titanic Lesson 6- Throw your jewel into the sea.
The Titanic film shows how a team of explorers are seeking to find a rare necklace, which the female survivor actually had in her possession. Interestingly, she throws the necklace into the sea without anyone one knowing; into the watery grave. It was a testament to her love for the one she journeyed with as the ship went down.
We must journey with people in this season. There are God-appointed relationships that will help us get through the difficulties. We must thank God for these friends and realise that people are more important than jewels!
As many government leaders in the world keep saying, “we will get through this.” We can also take not of what Jesus said about these times as we await his second coming; See Matthew chapter 24 Verses 4- 8.
Mark Rusic was born in Melbourne and has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. He became a missionary to many, suffering hardship and poverty on Madura Island in Indonesia, in 1990 for about four years. He worked as a pastor-life coach with Hope International Ministries from 2002 to May 2023, playing a key role in raising up leaders and elders for the local Melbourne Hope church, which lead today. Mark has also been active in conducting yearly trips to remote Indigenous communities, bringing teams for training and outreach, which he initiated from 2015. He also established a salt and light ministry to empower saints of influence in the marketplace from 2017.
Mark is also an artist and an author and has written two books which are both a collection of his own paintings, photography, and poetry. These include ‘Iconic Melbourne of Australia’ and ‘Iconic Animals of Australia- With a voice to release your giant potential within,’ which are available now on booktopia.com.au and at leading book retailers. He has been counted among some of Australia’s best authors on several occasions through Dymocks since 2014 and continues to be a motivational speaker in various community groups, organisations, and churches.
He is currently pioneering his itinerant ministry to bless Indigenous people and empower the body of Christ, while working as an artist, author and speaker.