Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cockle Skiff

The following allegory by Thomas Carlyle, written to encourage us as we face similar foes as Christopher Columbus; be it in the work place, our ministry or home; although a difficult read the first time through, is well worth the time. I can't remember reading anything quite as encouraging and well written. I'm sure my sons will identify with each line.

  "Brave Sea-captain, Norse Sea-king – Columbus, my hero, royalist Sea-king of all! It is no friendly environment this of thine, in the waste deep waters; around thee mutinous discouraged souls, behind thee disgrace and ruin, before thee the unpenetrated veil of night. Brother, these wild water-mountains, bounding from their deep bases are not entirely there on thy behalf! Meseems they have other work than floating thee forward: - and the huge Winds that sweep from Ursa Major to the Tropics and Equators, dancing their giant waltz through the kingdoms of Chaos and Immensity, they care little about filling rightly or filling wrongly the small shoulder-of-mutton sails in this cockle skiff of thine! Thou art not among articulate speaking friends, my brother; thou art among immeasurable dumb monsters, tumbling, howling wide as the world here. Secret, far off, invisible to all hearts but thine, there lies a help in them: see how thou wilt get at that. Patiently thou wilt wait till the mad South-wester spend itself, saving thyself by dexterous science of defense the while; valiantly, with swift decision, wilt thou strike in, when the favoring East, the Possible, springs up. Mutiny of men thou wilt sternly repress; weakness, despondency, thou wilt cheerily encourage; thou wilt swallow down complaint, unreason, weariness, weakness of others and thyself; - how much wilt thou swallow down! There shall be a depth of Silence in thee, deeper than this Sea, which is but ten miles deep; a Silence unsoundable; known to God only. Thou shalt be a great Man. Yes, my World Soldier, thou of the world Marine-Service – thou wilt have to be greater than this tumultuous unmeasured World here round thee is: thou, in thy strong soul, as with wrestler’s arms, shalt embrace it, harness it down; and make it bear thee on – to new Americas, or whither God wills!"

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