What are your tugboats?

About three weeks ago a British nuclear submarine ran aground on some rocks off the west coast of Scotland. It is one of the most technologically sophisticated vessels on the planet which makes the incident that much more ironic.

What I found interesting, though, was the way they freed the sub so it could continue on in open waters. Officials waited for high tide and then used tugboats to tow her out. Tugboats as you know are the unsung workhorses of the nautical world.

It got me to thinking. Whenever we get stuck or mired down in the muck and the grime of life's circumstances, what are the tugboats we used to tow us out and free us to move on? What are the workhorses that are critical when needed?

The following are my tugboats:

Friends who are always available, 24/7, to do the heavy lifting when I can't (and is always reciprocated when needed).

Mental tenacity. I admit that this tugboat is one of my most powerful but one I neglect to my peril. It is amazing how much I diminish its ability to pull me out by too easily falling into unhealthy and unhelpful thought patterns. This tugboat is slowly getting stronger.

Faith. Without a belief in a power and person much more powerful than me, I will continually run aground and stay stuck much, much longer. This tugboat must continually be fine tuned and maintained through the spiritual disciplines of prayer and solitude.

Humor. Sometimes the thing I need most to move me on is a healthy and honest laugh at the situation. Laughing is very serious business, and the ability to laugh at ourselves is one of the best ways to admit our foibles and weaknesses.

I'm sure there are more tugboats in my life when I'm stuck, but these are the primary one's in my fleet. I may think I got it all together and that I have all the bells and whistles of a sophisticated nuclear sub, but no technique or technology can free me like the tugboats.

What are the tugboats in your life, the often unsung workhorses that are always available when needed? Always remember them and be grateful for the power they provide to our lives.

 

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2 comments on “What are your tugboats?
  1. Sakman says:

    Tonight in intercessory prayer the Holy Spirit impressed on me that my ministry is that of a tugboat-to minister to others by pulling or pushing them through trying circumstances. As I wept I had such a witness in my spirit, and I returned home and immediately began research on the tugboat. I came upon this post under “spiritual tugboats”. Thanks for the witness!

  2. Thank you for the kind words. Blessings on your ministry!

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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