Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hold Fast

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a little package of picture frames. The frames were made by a presumably now-defunct California company called Form & Reform. The frame style is called Hold-Fast, and the box shares this bit of trivia:

"In Days of Olde, sailors tattooed the words Hold Fast on their knuckles to remind themselves to hold on tight." (Photo Credit: Botanize)

I at first chuckled to myself when I read that. I pictured myself port side in the middle of a stormy sea, and it didn't take long for me to determine within myself that even without actually having experienced any boat/storm scenario in real life, if I ever found myself in that situation, I would without a doubt be doing nothing more than Holding Fast. Well, except for screaming. I would for sure be doing nothing more than those two things -- Holding Fast and Screaming -- and I'm pretty sure I don't need anything or anyone to remind me.

At that point, I recalled this Discovery Channel show James and I used to watch called The Deadliest Catch. Basically, this show chronicles a most perilous profession: that of the Alaskan crabber. These crazy people launch out into the Bering Sea, where two-story tall waves slamming full force into puny human bodies is not uncommon, and they risk their actual lives so our seafood buffets will be overrun with gnarly little decomposers.

Now, I'm not one for watching fishing shows. Unless I have a good, long nap on the agenda, I can't bring myself to tune in to people sitting, whispering, and watching a line bob in the water. But this, my friends, ain't no fishin' show. The Deadliest Catch is (was*) so much more. The only reason I tuned in (and this is horrible) was to see who would be swept away, but despite my faithful viewership, I've never seen anyone go down.

Do you know why that is?

They know to Hold Fast.

These crabbers, as I'm sure is the case with seafarers of all sorts, go about doing their jobs in the most precarious of situations. They function in the midst of crashing waves and rocking boats, and they press through hardships, trials, and tribulations just to make it to the end of the day. And when the storm blows in -- the kind that makes it all worse and the kind that could take them under -- they know what anchors them, they take hold of it, and it is that to which they Hold Fast.

Hold Fast, v.: stick to firmly (from Dictionary.com)

"But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law
that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you:
to love the LORD your God,
to walk in all his ways,
to obey his commands,
to hold fast to him
and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."
Joshua 22:5 NIV

"It is the LORD your God you must follow,
and him you must revere.
keep his commands and obey him;
serve him and hold fast to him."
Deut. 13:4 NIV

"My soul is weary with sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word.
Keep me from deceitful ways;
be gracious to me through your law.
I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, O LORD;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:28-32 NIV

"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
And having an high priest over the house of God;
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,
and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised)..."
Hebrews 10:19-23 KJV

(*I say "was" because we have actual lives now and that's a show that unfortunately doesn't make the DVR Prioritizer.)


  • Someone Being Me

    I love that show. I could care less for fishing but I do love me some crab legs. I greatly appreciate all those guys go through to bring one of my favorite dishes to me.

  • Christy

    We watched The Deadliest Catch last night. Makes me feel kind of guilty about ordering crablegs anymore... To know people died for your entree is a little creepy.

  • Emily

    Great post, I love the whole idea of holding fast throughout the storms. I have not even come close to surviving the storms that you and others have faced, but we all have our bumps in the road that test us and Lord knows I need to practice the holding fast technique a little better.

    On a lighter note...as I was reading ths post Allan is watching the "Best of Deadliest Catch". We have gotten into that show in the past as well and I also watch for the drama and the whole not knowing if everyone will make it to the end of the season.

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