4,200 people thought they were embarking on a luxurious cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Those high hopes came crashing down when a fuel leak led to a fire in the engine room. Besides crippling the engines, the fire also disabled the ships power and support systems. As a result, the freshwater systems and sewage systems were put out of action. People soon had to deal with backed up plumbing, overflowing toilets, food shortages, and rooms without heat or air conditioning. Some even had to sleep on sewage soaked carpets and ate meals consisting of candy and ketchup on buns (New York Times). No one could wash themselves and people were starting to get sick. Thankfully, some of the support systems were restored partially, but the boat was still left crippled, stranded, and drifting for five days.
Finally help arrived. Several tugboats came to pull the ship back to port. Unfortunately, one of the towlines snapped, causing further delays. With high winds also working against them, it ended up taking four tugboats to bring the ship back to port. The tragedy wasn’t quite over for some though. Upon arriving on land, the passengers were provided with buses to shuttle them back to certain locations. One of the buses heading to the New Orleans airport ended up breaking down on the highway. Once they finally reached the airport, the flight they were scheduled to take was delayed because of an electrical failure (New York Daily News). This ended up being one of those trips were almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
It’s safe to say this vacation didn’t quite go as planned. People had expected a fun and relaxing getaway, but ended up in a nightmare. Whether it came about because of negligence or coincidence, all it took was one little leaky fuel line to cripple the “900-foot long, 101,509 gross ton” Triumph cruise ship (Wikipedia).
It’s ironic that a massive operation can come to a screeching halt because of one small problem. This can be seen in most parts of life, the most dangerous example being in our spiritual lives. An alcoholic is born by just having a sip. A drug addict gets hooked by just trying it once. A habitual liar starts with a little white lie. A family is quickly torn apart by adultery because a thought was at one time entertained.
We are warned in Scripture to never “give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27). We are reminded, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Galatians 5:9). Just a small amount of sin can grow to destroy individuals, families, and entire congregations. It is vital that we destroy even the smallest sins that have a grasp on us. Our salvation could depend on it.