Stories of faith, hope and encouragement


Beat the Doldrums: 7 lessons from the Ancient Mariner

Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea.
Samuel Taylor Cooleridge
Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798

Stuck ‘twixt the sea and the moon, we do read the Ancient Mariner hovered. Yet over it all – sea, man and sky – the Lord himself does cover.  What wisdom can we then lay claim to, from said old Salt that we purchase?  Perchance that we hear that our own greatest fear is the lack of Divinity’s purpose?

In idler times, be they good ones or bad, the choice then is our’s ‘what to do with our hands?’; and not just the hands, but the heart and the mind. Do we anxiously wring them for fear of things beggared? Or fold them and rest – the proverbial sluggard?

Come now as we face these isolate days, let us tackle things grand, with intention and gusto. Let’s lay hold of scarce things that we wished there was time for, when life was consumed by a twelve-hour labour.

And so with that said, we do offer you this, in sevenfold point form, a Thing-To-Do List

1 FIRST things first – fix your eyes Above.  Like our isolated friend the Mariner, cut off from the world he loves; we will do well to stay humble in knowing that the One who created the Moon above, is also mindful of His children beneath it.

2 ENJOY your food.  We’re not talking about chips and sodas.  No, it’s a great time to feed the machine with fantastically nutritious fare that you would never have time to prepare under usual circumstances.  And like the Ancient Mariner wished to, drink as much water as you can.

3 TURN UP THE MUSIC.  Better yet, dust off that old guitar or drum kit (unless you’ve moved to an apartment). Fill the air with uplifting sounds. Check out online learning tools, like Ultimate Guitar on Apple’s App Store.

4 EXERCISE.  Working from home will be the new normal for many of us, so take a bit of advice from us old codgers and freelancers – don’t stay in your chair all day or your posture will develop at right angles without you even realizing it.

5 DRESS for success. Many of us are settling into the new normal of work-from-home telecommuting.  So, while it’s true that we can’t tell if you don’t have your pants on during that video conference call, still you will know – and those easygoing allowances of an unmade bed and the all-day housecoat will blindly slide into shoddy work habits, like those three-martini lunches of the MadMen series.

6 FEED your mind.  A good book, the classics or maybe a new language… There’s never been a better time to pick up Esperanto (well actually there’s never a good time for that); but there are great and practical ways to build yourself up.  Ways that can fit with future plans when world travel resumes – and it will resume.  Check out the language lessons at DuoLingo – they’re free!

7 ROUTINE is your friend. Like it or not, you’re going to fall into patterns.  It’s either rebel with a cause or rebel without one; if you don’t set your own routine, then circumstance will set one for you.  Plan your week before it begins.  Make 3-5 must-do’s daily.  And for God’s sake, plan to take one day off a week to get back to #1 and keep first things first.

Interesting times we do find ourselves in, the mixed blessing of Orient told us.  Yet fear not and press in, there is purpose from sin as we turn back to the truths of the old Ones.

Above all, take heart: The winds will blow again and God will see us through this.

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judy heyde
judy heyde
3 years ago

thank you so much for the great ideas. I loved every one of them. You are so gifted in how you string your words together. I just love reading your stuff. Thanks for being real and authentic. We love you guys❤️
Love Judy Heyde

3 years ago
Reply to  judy heyde

Thanks Judy. It’s folks like you and your family that make it all worthwhile.

~ c

Zina VanBergeyk
Zina VanBergeyk
3 years ago

Welcome back to Canada… It’s good to have a positive attitude about the circumstances surrounding this return.. Gods timing is not just “Good” but Best! We continue to pray that God will give guidance and direction through this unsettled time .. May God Bring you His Peace and courage as you “Stay the course”
When the social distancing is passed… Give us a call and come for a visit.
With Love Zina ( for the both of us)


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