It was a chilly morning in late October when Captain Cribbs first spotted the ship flying the Jolly Roger. Immediately, he knew the terrible ordeal his men were in for. He pulled his coat tighter about his shoulders as the restless waves rocked his ship in an almost lyrical pattern. Without a moment’s hesitation, he gave his men their orders, and like a well-oiled machine, the crew set to work, preparing for the horrendous battle about to engulf them.
Cannoneers and their crew prepared their artillery while others greased the deck and covered it with dried peas. They then laid down boards with nails driven through them. Sharp shooters prepared their weapons as they took up positions. If pirates were going to take the Bauden, they would have to fight savagely for Captain Cribbs and his men weren’t going to yield so much as a plank.
“Strike colors!” the captain of the Trompeuse commanded, motioning to the flag snapping high in the stiff morning breeze.
Cribbs’ eyes glowered with pent-up rage, and the pirate captain knew death would come for many men on both ships. Suddenly, cannons thundered mercilessly, the vibrations shaking the very hulls of the two ships. When cannon balls landed, masts splintered and timbers became deadly projectiles hitting several men. The broadside continued as soon as cannons were reloaded, and once more men and ships were reduced to human pulp and wooden fragments.
Four hours later, both Cribbs and the pirate captain lay dead. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the pirates withdrew.
Hopefully, your days don’t get as dramatic as that, but still I must ask you. Who’s broad siding your ship? Out on the high seas of life, dangers wait. Some are big and thus obvious. Others are seemingly insignificant yet just as deadly.
When things don’t go well for you, when you run into trouble, what are you prepared to do? Are you willing to bleed for your dreams? We all have our ship to command. How we handle that responsibility makes all the difference in the world.
Broadsides from our enemies are often predictable, so we can prepare for them. But how many times are we broadsided by small things, and then with barely a whimper, we surrender.
How many times were you sailing smoothly towards the island of your dreams, when that mutinous voice inside your head cried out. “I’m too old.” “I’m too young.” “It’s too late to do anything about it.” “I don’t know where to begin.” “I don’t have the connections.” “I don’t have the experience.” “No one wants me because I have too much experience.” “I got a late start in life.” And on and on the traitorous voice whispers. Continue reading →