I have related previously how on one occasion my father decided that it would be helpful for us as a family to take a trip to the West Indies.
He went to the city of Hamilton and purchased tickets for our family, his mother and a cousin to spend 28 days on the Lady Nelson. There was probably about 30 to 40 passengers total and those were the days when the ships carried both passengers and freight.
Each moment of that cruise was phenomenal. Because the Captains table was the biggest, most of our meals were with him. Hidden in the back of my mind was the knowledge that my parents had mortgaged our home to make this possible. I realized that this was the epitome of sacrifice.
Watching the flying fish was always exciting, and visiting places, 9 stops down and on the return trip, 8 of them again. Many of the humorous, as well as historical experiences made for memories I shall never forget.
When Patsy and I were dating, and after our marriage, I often said: “There is something I long for you to see, but the years slipped by and that “something” remained at a distance but always out of reach.
One day, I spotted an advertisement that became irresistible. We were off to a cruise in the West Indies. She never asked questions about “why”, she just enjoyed every moment of every day.
One evening as we stood on deck conversing, I said, “look above us”. Within seconds she said: “It’s a CROSS!” “That is what I told you I wanted you to see: The Southern Cross! It was indelibly impressed on my mind from my trip as a youngster.
It took a few years for me to appreciate it as I do today. I know what it means to you!” Rather than ruin those moments by my singing, we hummed together: The Old Rugged Cross!
Another songwriter penned the words: “The CROSS, upon which Jesus died, is a shelter in which we can hide… I will cherish that Old Rugged Cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.” I know it will be undeserved, but it is reserved for those who fall in love with the one who hung on Calvary for our Sin! The only sacrifice that would satisfy God for our sin! In those moments He said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!” Finally: “It is finished!”