Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Titanic Couldn't Compartmentalize

 We all know what a wonder the Titanic was.
We all know how confident everyone was that it was an unsinkable vessel.

I heard a man on the radio describe how the Titanic had 16 watertight compartments that would help it stay afloat.  Various combinations of flooding in those compartments was acceptable-- the Titanic could sustain some amount of flooding. (More than other ships before it)  

The designers could not picture the side of the boat scraping along the side of a jagged iceberg, suffering multiple puncture wounds to six compartments as it bumped along.

Maybe even that would have been ok, but as it turned out, the compartments were not truly waterproof.  Their internal walls did not go all the way up to the deck.  Water got in, and as it rose high enough, started spilling into compartments that had not taken any hits.

There are truths that this can illustrate, and the radio man explained.

For example, we all take "hits" in our lives.  In any given compartment (physical, spiritual, relational, professional) something may be going utterly awry.  A flooded compartment that compromises our survival, our happiness, our peace of mind.

But if we can compartmentalize, we can do damage control so that a strained relationship at work does not create unhappiness with us and our family.  Our personal troubles do not cause us to give up eating well or exercising.  Tragedy outside of work does not render us useless at work--the place we must still function if we are to keep our financial boat afloat.

We are taught that it is pathetically fake to be bright and cheerful in one arena if in another, you have nothing to be cheerful about.

But the point is, the Titanic sunk.

Without being able to compartmentalize, he suggests we also will not be able to survive.  To weather the storms.  To repair damage without going down.

If you have ever been in an argument or bad mood with someone en route to a social gathering, and then were able to almost instantly put it aside, put on a cheerful face, and be kind and civil to everyone the two of you encountered, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Your disagreement was put in a compartment until you could properly repair your relationship later.  In the meantime, you were good company to a kind host who didn't need to be burdened with your spat.

This past year has been some pretty treacherous sailing for my little ship.
Icy waters
Spiked with tragedy and loss
Pain and confusion

Last week I barreled into a huge iceberg that has left me in near-constant pain.
I'm flooding in too many compartments.

I need them to be watertight.
I need them to hold true.

I'm taking on a lot of water here.

So if I seem a little tired, a little distracted, or a little less enthusiastic, it's only because I'm pulling double shifts trying to shore up every compartment in this little boat of mine....

I'm a punctured mess taking the advanced course on compartmentalization.

I'm no Titanic, but one thing I know: I'm not going down.


  1. Oh, sweet Jodi. I'd love to talk and ease your burden if I can.

  2. Jodi, I am praying for you as you go through these hard trials! Love you ~

  3. Dear friend,
    You are not going down!! That is so true. Compartmentalization is a useful tool when grieving and the Trinity is masterful at helping us implement it. Keep loving your young patrons, listening to your praise music, finding joy in Landon's discoveries, gaining strength in the arms of Bill and giving yourself time to wail, write, question, pray and challenge God. Find comfort in the fact that He knows your heart and the the heart of those you love. Know He is bigger than anything we could ever face and He will not abandon you. Know that He has sent His angels to fight the enemy. Also, don't feel you have to compartmentalize with me. I can handle it! I love you!

  4. Girls, you are each from three different worlds/chapters of my life, and yet you all rally to say the same. I feel so loved! Laurel, your comment is beautiful and coming from a girl with a few stamps in her own passport from the wild lands of suffering, means a great deal. I love you each. (Have no idea if you ever will see this reply comment)but still am grateful that you are my friends.