Discussion: Afloat on Broken Pieces
By: Belinds M. Lane
February 24, 2023
Staying afloat on broken pieces, what does it mean? It means that there is still life. You are still breathing and there is movement. Realizing things in your past and present, make it seem as if you are drowning. When I read books or watch television of documentaries. I see how many people went through life and arrived at a certain point in their lives, meriting recognition. They spoke of the broken parts of their lives and how they kept moving. I want to look at certain times in the life of Paul. The story goes:
Acts 27:41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. 42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land. 44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass that they escaped all safe to land.
Already in an unpleasant situation. You feel things can’t get any worst and they do! Paul was a prisoner. They took his freedom. Why did the Apostle Paul appeal to Caesar? It’s stated Paul wanted to go before Caesar because: Weary of strife, his active spirit could ill endure the repeated delays and wearing suspense of his trial and imprisonment. He therefore exercised his privilege, as a Roman citizen, of appealing to Caesar. The Emperor (a.k.a. Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus). In charge of this whole Roman Empire thing. Paul wants to appeal his arrest to him. Weariness will cause us to make unlikely decisions. Acts 26:32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, this man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
In this story, the guards were deciding to kill all the prisoners to ensure none would escape. One man (Paul) found favor with a guard. It saved all prisoners. There are people watching a lot of times, who will help, that we don’t realize are willing. Just think about this, because of Paul it saved the rest of the prisoners. When we are going through life, we forget others sometimes are in the same boat. They may have what we need and vice versa.
Last, Acts 28:2 And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 3 And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, no doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffered not to live. 5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6 Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while. And saw no harm come to him. They changed their minds and said that he was a god.
In life, people watching will label you and will keep their opinion as to ‘why’ things are happening to you. There will always be people watching, again with their opinion of why you are going through your life struggles. As they struggle on their broken pieces. Let note in this story the storm came while they were at sea and destroyed the ship. They are swimming and floating to an unknown destination. Guards and prisoners are all in the same predicament. No one knows the outcome. Will it be a safe place or worse than what they are now? This is how life can be for us.
Many people frozen in fear are trying to make their lives comfortable while continuing in their discomfort. Fear makes them think ‘at least I’m familiar with where I am’… and they stay and never progress in life. Others will keep moving, thinking ‘anything has got to be better than this’. With their self-prophecy, they move forward. This is how many have been able to proclaim the victories they won. They continued through challenges and more of the unknown to victories they never really thought was possible. Their stories are in books, documentaries and movies. To encourage the ones who are still afloat on broken pieces.
Let’s discuss of some broken pieces.
For many it is returning from war (esp. Vietnam. The United States officially entered the war in 1965) Info from Wikipedia. Please don’t quote me for their accuracy.
Over 100,000 US troops lost limbs in the war and required treatment.
Draft dodgers’ were mistreated, and some fled the country.
American troops returning from the war were also subject to ill-treatment. Many civilians them as brutal thugs who should be punished or avoided
Another example is, (Desert Storm August 2, 1990 to July 31, 1991) Info from Wikipedia. Please don’t quote me for their accuracy.
Respiratory Conditions from chemical agents or pesticides
Psychological& Neurological Problems
Headaches and Memory Problems
I speak of these traumas, not to overlook all who have served in the armed forces. I speak
because of the so many years of so ones who are still floating on broken pieces from those eras.
General children's divorce statistics (https://www.children-and-divorce.com)
The divorce itself does not affect children in a negative way. The effects result more often from the feeling of uncertainty of what is going to happen after the divorce. They look from the level of conflict between the parents and the subsequent parenting after the divorce is complete.
50% of all North-American children will witness the divorce of their parents. ...
One out of 10 children of divorce experiences three or more parental marriage breakups.
40% of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. ...
50% of all the children born to married parents today will experience the divorce of their parents before they are 18 years old.
PTSD: A mental health condition that develops following a traumatic event characterized by intrusive thoughts about the incident, recurrent distress/anxiety, flashback and avoidance of similar situations.
Very common (More than 3 million cases per year in US)
Treatable by a medical professional
Often requires lab test or imaging
More common in females
Other Broken Pieces: We can add the loss of a love one, loss of a job causing loss of homes, life and health insurance. Staying afloat from the broken pieces of others. Domestic Violence, child abuse, sex trafficking, drug infested neighborhood, lawmakers who serve themselves and not the people, racial tension and the economy crisis. This list can go on and on.
What are your broken pieces you are floating on?
Look back at Paul’s story. They were staying afloat on broken pieces of the destroyed ship. Which had now fallen apart. Still, the ones on the wrecked ship parts made it to shore. You will make it to the stable place in your life!
Never undervalue the storms in your life. Don’t forget our life will continue through all seasons. We have a visible picture throughout the year of what each season will produce. Learning to dress for what will come. We can find out the forecast for the day (s) ahead before storms arrive (occasionally a hit and a miss), but we have some type of direction. If you keep going, you will make it to your secure place.
I can’t tell you how to hold on because we are all unique with various make-ups and experiences in our make-up. I think we each have within us the capability to hang on in there. Don’t look at others, but see deep within yourself. We don’t perceive what others have within supporting them to float. As you inhale and exhale count it as one more step forward. Wipe away the tears and determine what to put on in your storm. Paul made it to the unknown island safely. So will you! Keep your head up and learn while in your storm. There are messages in this just for you!
In the words of Dr. R. A. Vernon… Never waste a good storm!
Thank you for joining me for Friday at Sundown. Remember… Just Breathe!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Dial 988
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you
National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims, survivors of domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-7233. Chat w/an advocate on our website. National Domestic Violence Hotline: www.thehotline.org/
Aid for Military Veterans
In an attempt to cope with the pain of overwhelming emotions, sometimes veterans turn to unhealthy relationships, at-risk behaviors, or substance abuse.
Welcome Home is Celebrate Recovery's (CR) tool to help veterans stuck in hurts, hang-ups, and habits. (These statements are from CR’s Homepage). You are not alone