"At some point, even the best of us need help. Knowing when to ask for help and understanding why you need it is ultimately the most important thing."- Krista Rizzo | Why Asking for Help is a Strength
Imagine with me for a moment, you are stranded on open waters and your phone is about to die with very weak signal reception and you can only make a call or two. Who would be that one individual or two whom you could confide in, to come to your aid?
If you're from the Northwest, there is a good chance you've driven on I-84. It's the interstate that helps you get to Oregon's most popular site seeing attractions like, Multnomah Falls, the Bridge of the Gods, the Vista House, and The Dalles Dam. This interstate also runs along the Oregon side of the Columbia River, which is known as the largest river in the Pacific Northwest Region of North America. This is the route that my wife and I always take when we are on our way to visit with family in the Yakima valley in WA. Not only does this trip come with beautiful site seeing of trees, mountains, rocks and waterfalls, but from time-to-time, we also get to see small tugboats pushing large containers going up and down the Columbia River. I was so intrigued by these little boats, I just had to learn more about them. What is a tugboat and what kind of purpose do they serve? Well, according to Wikipedia, "a tugboat or towboat is a type of vessel that maneuvers other vessels by pushing them or pulling them either by direct contact or by means of a tow line. Tugs typically move vessels that either are restricted in their ability to maneuver on their own, such as ships in a crowded harbor or a narrow canal, or those that cannot move by themselves, such as barges, disabled ships, log rafts, or oil platforms. Tugboats are powerful for their size and strongly built, and some are ocean-going. Some tugboats serve as icebreakers or salvage boats. Many tugboats have firefighting monitors, allowing them to assist in firefighting, especially in harbors." (watch a Tugboat in action: v1, v2 v3, v4, v5)
"With such diversified functions, tugboats are undoubtfully among the most far-reaching sailing helpers in the seaports world." - Netwave
Wow! These tugboats are not just your everyday kind of boat and don’t let their size fool you either. These watercrafts may be visually small, but in reality they are designed and built to perform in a variety of ways for a greater purpose. It's no wonder why you see so many of them traveling back and forth on the Columbia River. I would also like to point out here, that tugboats are not so much known for their fancy looking design, for their super fast speeds, or for their bigness, but instead, are known more for their reliability, their endurance, their strength, and for their maneuvering capabilities due to their size. The more I thought about what makes a tugboat unique from all the rest of the boats, I couldn't help but think of individuals in my life who have come alongside me when I have found myself in a rut, lost, in danger, or in need of guidance and direction. It was because of their availability, genuine concern, leadership, pastoral care, prayers, and encouragement that made all of the difference for me as a husband, a Christian, a leader, and as a musician. Even still today, their very presence gives me hope, peace, joy, strength, and confidence. As I look back over the last couple of years, the following are ways in which these tugboats have impacted my life, my ministry, and career.
“There is a tremendous strength that is growing in the world through sharing together, praying together, suffering together, and working together.” - Mother Teresa
Who are Your Tugboats?
How about you? Who are these individuals in your life whom you would consider as tugboats? And what kind of impact have they had on your life, your ministry or your career? For some of us, it can be our spouse, that one family member, that one friend, that one pastor, that one teacher, that one co-worker, that one support group, that chapter in that one book, that one podcast, God, or at times have come in the form of a life-changing experience. Having people in our lives whom we can be forthcoming with and can confide in, is an important thing to experience and have in our lives, because we were never meant to do life alone. So, the next time you are on I-84 and happen to spot a tugboat on the Columbia River, I hope you are encouraged as you remember those who have and continue to make a positive impact on your life. And if for some reason, you happen to find yourself in a rut; lost, in danger, or in need of guidance and direction, be encouraged in knowing that tugboats are nearby and ready to help.
Everyone, no matter how big and strong, could use a little help sometimes. Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. What are we here for, if not for each other." - unknown
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