When life's storms come in wave after wave after wave of loss and stress, family life can kind of seem like navigating open water with an unlikely crew working together to keep going, despite having gotten knocked around and beaten up. You've even lost a few captains, so who takes command of the ship? What's a crew member to do? Do you go port or starboard, bow or stern or maybe you should just abandon ship? Those clouds look pretty ominous over there, after all.
Really, those are your choices when it gets hard: adjust or abandon ship.
We recently went to see Christopher Nolan's masterpiece of a movie, Dunkirk which chronicles the miraculous rescue of hundreds of thousands of British troops during the eponymous WWII battle. Owen Strachan's review on The Center for Public Theology's blog aptly notes, "Perhaps Nolan, in studying men afresh, gave us this fleeting shot to remind us of our task. All around us, young men flail and struggle... But they are not alone. We must stand fast; we dare not leave the wall. Our battles are within and without, from outside our homes, but also inside them."
Of course, I don't mean to be dramatic or insinuate that our struggles equal that of the British soldiers on the shores of Dunkirk, France in 1940. But life in family and community in 2017 still has its struggles and we must press on, waging war on the unseen forces that try to rip apart the grace laden glue that holds us together, that keeps our ship afloat.
We must not give up the ship, but keep our eyes fixed on the Lighthouse that guides us home and stay the course... together.