Lessons from the Titanic

April 15, 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. over 1500 lives were tragically lost.

The Titanic was the largest, finest, most luxurious, technological wonder of its time.  It’s size overshadowed every other ship measuring approximately 900 feet in length, 92.5 feet wide, and 104 feet high. It housed a beautiful grand staircase, a gym, an indoor swimming pool, and an electrical generator that could produce about the same about of power as a power plant in a small city. Remember even to have electric power at that point in time was considered a great luxury.

It is well documented that the ship was touted as being unsinkable. None of the survivors disputed the fact that the ship was deemed “unsinkable”. There are even reports that the builders said that not even God could sink this ship.

It was equipped with 16 watertight compartments in the even that an accident did occur. However it was build so that the maximum number of compartments that could rupture without seriously compromising the safety of the ship was 4.

Nonetheless, this ship was the biggest and the best in the world. And being “unsinkable” the crew did not put any more life boats on the ship than the law required. There were 16 life boats altogether. And they were only included because it had to be by law, otherwise they may not have included any because the Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable.

On its maiden voyage across the Atlantic the ship received many wireless warnings of the danger of icebergs. Most of these warnings were ignored. But apparently at least one warning was heeded, and Captain E.J. Smith decided to sail an extra 10 miles south than planed to avoid icebergs.

At 11:40pm April 14, 1912 the passengers aboard the Titanic fell a jar. Little did they know the ship had struck an iceberg. Captain E.J. Smith gave the orders to load the lifeboats with women and children, following the “women and children first” protocol. Some people wondered why they were being ordered into lifeboats. Others absolutely refused to get in to a lifeboat, thinking that the ship was unsinkable.

As time passed it was very evident that the ship was doomed, yet still many people didn’t believe it. the ship’s stern sank lower and lower into the water. Eventually the front of the ship was completely submerged. As water poured in through every open window and porthole, the sink started sinking fast. As the front part of the ship went down the back part of the ship rose like a teeter-totter effect. When the back part was nearly vertical, hundreds of people still hanging on, the giant ship suddenly broke in two. The stern remained afloat for a while until it eventually sunk.

As the ship was sinking, hundreds of people jumped off, thinking there would might be a greater chance of surviving. Survivors tell us of the horror they witnesses as over one thousand people screamed to their death in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic.

The good news: over 700+ people were rescued.

What possible lessons can we learn from the horrible tragedy?

  1. The pride of humans lead only to destruction! Don’t be so proud to proclaim that man’s creation will not fail. The makers of the ship were indeed proud enough to assume that a tragedy like this would never happen to their state of the art technology. That is why they didn’t put enough lifeboats on the shit. They didn’t think they would need it. Human pride leads to destruction. This is the first and greatest lesson. A lot of people learned this lesson. In fact, many people lost faith in modern technology altogether. But somehow we all like sheep have lost site of our frailty, and faultiness again as we trust in man, and man-made technology.
  2. Some people deny the truth until death. There were people on the ship that did not believe that the ship was sinking. Many of those people did not want to get into a lifeboat for that very reason. Some people even refused to come out of their room because they didn’t believe it.
  3. Most people were not prepared for tragedy. They spend the night gambling, drinking, and thinking about their new life in America. When all was supposedly secure and safe, sudden destruction overtook them. Always prepare.

Finally, lets not forget one of the greatest heroes of the Titanic: Pastor John Harper. His wife passed away before the voyage. When the call came that women and children should get in the lifeboats he put his only child, his daughter in the lifeboat. Although he was the only surviving parent he refused to jump on the lifeboat with his daughter. He told her that he would see her again someday.

Pastor John Harper went around and proclaimed, “Women, children, and the unsaved get into lifeboats” because he knew that if a person was not saved, and if they were to die, they would end up in hell for eternity. He wanted to give them a chance.

Pastor John Harper was on the boat until the end. He was one of the last ones to jump off. He wore a life jacket and approached a young man and asked him if he wanted to get saved. The young man replied, “no”. Then Pastor Harper gave the young man his own life jacket, and swam around preaching to others who were also swimming, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then he came back to the young man and asked him again if he wanted to get saved. The young man accepted, and Pastor Harper led the young man to the Lord. Pastor Harper then continued to swim around to the others proclaiming, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved”. Pastor Harper died. But the young man was picked up by a lifeboat and saved to tell the story. He called himself Pastor John Harper’s last convert.

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