Caught in the Doldrums of Life
INTRODUCTION: When we speak of the doldrums, we are referring to that area of the ocean near the equator, which is often characterized by calm to light winds, sometimes, no wind at all.
In the old days, when ships were caught in the doldrums, they could be there for days or weeks on end; with little or no wind, their crews would often perish for lack of fresh water and food.
ILLUS: In the year 1798, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In this poem, the ship and its crew are caught in the doldrums as punishment for killing the albatross.
In the following stanzas, Coleridge wrote...
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Certainly this was not the best of situations in which to find one's self.
Today, when we speak of being in the doldrums, we are usually referring to an emotional or spiritual place in life. We might think of a person who may be depressed--a person who is not very motivated, listless and uncaring--a person who is really going nowhere in life.
ILLUS: On July 30, 1768, Captain James Cook was commissioned by the King of England to take the good ship Endeavor and set out on an expeditionary voyage to the South Seas. They were sailing along, being pushed by fair winds, when almost without warning; they found themselves in the doldrums. Their ship was now just a few degrees north of the equator; the wind had dropped, leaving them in a dead calm sea.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation like that? You are sailing along, everything seems fine, then all of a sudden, you look around and you realize you're not really going anywhere? You're not making any headway; you're in the same place you were this time last year. Th ...
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