There is a ship, and there is a storm. There are people on the ship. Some are in the cabin, eating and drinking, talking, laughing, enjoying themselves. Those who are in the cabin are completely unaware of the storm because they are focused on what they are doing inside the cabin. They are focused on the ship, they are focused on the moment.
Some are on the deck of the ship, milling about. Those who are on the deck see that the sky has already turned black, they are aware that the storm is close enough to smell the rain. They are aware that the boat has begun to rock with the waves, but they are more focused on trying to steady their steps on the rocking boat, instead of seeking safety. They are still focused on the ship, they are focused on the rocking.
Some have made it to the ship plank. They know that the only way to survive the storm is to leave the ship, but they are still trying to decide whether or not it’s worth the risk. Some of them are holding their belongings in their arms, knowing that if they jump, they cannot bring anything with them. They know that if they jump into the deep water they have to leave everything behind and they are not sure they are ready to do that yet. They can see all those who have already jumped, down in the water, swimming diligently in the same direction, toward a single point out in the water, but they can’t see what it is.
Some have made the jump. They listened to the still, small voice that told them the only way to survive the storm was to leave the ship. Their reasoning told them that jumping into the dark, churning waters to survive a storm was the opposite of what they should do. Their flesh told them to take along a few mementos from the ship, surely they didn’t have to leave everything behind? But they listened neither to their reasoning nor their flesh. Those who made the jump listened to the still, small voice and acted in obedience.
As soon as they jumped off the ship and their feet hit the water the ship began to fade and the sun began to rise on the horizon. They were no longer in darkness and they could see Who had been standing out in the water, calling them off the ship all along.
“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matt 24:38,39)
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'” (Matt 16:24-26)