Man Overboard!

Man Overboard!

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Think of life as a voyage on a luxury ocean liner. Let’s say the captain of the ship and the crew manning the engines are a type for Jesus and His angels, but the people of Earth are the guests on the ship.

A few of us have all the benefits of a first class cabin, complete with ocean views and rose petals on our pillows every evening. Others enjoy a comfortable but cramped stateroom. We’re not pampered, but we have all we need and are free to enjoy the amenities on board. Many of us wonder if we’ve been given the role of the serving staff or those hired to entertain. We wait on the guests, we fulfill their every need, we clean, we cook, we sing, we dance.

Some of us have jumped off the ship. Those are the ones I want to zero in on.

creative commons photo - credit to:

creative commons photo – credit to:

What happens when a person falls into the sea? The alarm goes off: “Man overboard.” The captain brings the ship around, sends out a lifeboat to rescue the unhappy guest. Having escaped death by drowning, he is beyond grateful for the return to safety.

But what if it was a suicide attempt? How would he respond to his saviors? He’d push them away, beg them to leave him be.

Is that what people are trying to do who reject Christ? Commit eternal suicide?


Jesus provides this beautiful world – this luxury ship – for every person born on earth. There are times of a calm sea and beautiful sunsets. We marvel at His wonders. However, it’s a fallen world, and there are seasons of storms and rough water. We get seasick.

Most of us don’t win the “good life” of million dollar incomes and unlimited budgets. Many struggle on the lower decks, constantly performing backbreaking work, never thanked for it by our fellow passengers, but WE’RE STILL ON THE BOAT! And we’re safe. And some day we will reach port where we all celebrate in heaven together.


Yet people continually leap from the ship. They flounder in raging seas, close to drowning as wave after wave crashes over them. Jesus throws them a life preserver and drops the lifeboat to come after them. If He tries to lift them over the side to safety, they push Him away. “Get away! I don’t need You. I’m going to keep swimming.”

Creative Commons photo- credit to lynnmosher.blogspot,com

Creative Commons photo- credit to lynnmosher.blogspot,com

So Jesus waits. The ocean liner of faith hovers nearby as the rebel continues to exhaust himself in the hostile currents. If he never changes his mind, he’ll eventually go under and not break the surface again. But as soon as he reaches out a finger and whispers for help from the Savior, he will be safe in the arms of Jesus forever.


About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at


  1. Love this analogy, Linda. There are so many lost souls sinking. We need to throw out the life preserver whenever we can.

  2. And we can’t force them to grab hold of the life preserver. If that breaks my heart, I can’t imagine the depth of Jesus’s sorrow over the rejection.

  3. Linda, this is such an awesome post! So many of us working on the ship, singing, dancing, working, but as you said…still on the boat. This post is full of such hope and safety if knowing God. I never thought of non-believers attempting “eternal suicide.” So many after you speak about God push you away, just like the “man overboard” would, if suicide was the goal originally. Thank you for this. Just so beautifully written. Have a great week.

  4. I love the picture, Linda. Thanks for the post.

  5. It’s only been in recent years that I realized God doesn’t send anyone to hell. People reject heaven. The alternative becomes their choice.
    And thank you, d.c.! Your encouraging words let me know I should keep writing!

  6. You’re welcome, Janet. Having grown up on the ocean, I knew exactly what kind of rough sea I wanted for the photo.

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