Are you stranded on the A Deck?

Thursday 5th October 2017

Imagine that someone invites you for the cruise of a lifetime.  You get to the docks and the person says “There’s just two conditions, you are never to ask where we are going or when we will get there.”

“Sounds fine by me” you say.  You board the ship and it’s luxurious; you are shown to your suite on A deck and you cannot believe it.  Within a few hours you are sailing in the sun and you think “If there’s a heaven, it must be like this.”  After six weeks of sailing around you think to yourself “I wonder where we’re going” but, you’ve made a promise so you keep the question to yourself and carry on enjoying yourself.

After six months you cannot hold the question any longer.  You grab your host one day and say “I don’t want to appear ungrateful but please, could you just tell me where we are going and when we are going to get there?”  “Is there a problem?” he says “Is the suite not to your liking?”.  Is the food not good enough?”  “No, no,” you say “It’s wonderful, I’m having the time of my life.”  “Then eat, drink and enjoy” he says.  So you do your best.

After ten years of sailing around on this wretched ocean liner, the dream has become a nightmare.  You scream at him “Please please tell me where and when”.  Ridiculous?  No.

We are on this planet like a ship cruising through space and every now and then the question pops into the mind of every single traveller at some stage:  Where and when? – These are questions of purpose and meaning.

Imagine, you recover your composure and you say to your host “Well tell me, how many people are on this ship?” He says to you “Guess.”  “Two hundred” you say.  “Wrong – one thousand.”  You say “a thousand people?  You’re kidding me: it feels like only two hundred.”  “Yes” he says “that’s because here on A Deck there are two hundred people.  But for the last ten years in the hold of this ship there have been 800 people and they only have bread and water.


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Are you stranded on the A Deck?