There’s an animal with one eye, no heart, both male and female sex organs, antennae that secrete cement, and hangs upside down its entire life—the barnacle. Barnacles are communal; where you find one you are likely to find hundreds or thousands. Each barnacle at birth cranks out its own version of super glue and settles onto a surface and never moves from that spot for the rest of its life. That is unless something stronger makes a serious effort at dislodging it.

In the eyes of the United States Navy, barnacles are capitol offenders covering a ship’s hull or anchor line. If a boat isn’t freed from barnacles hitchhiking on its hull, it will gradually lose speed and efficiency—even gigantic aircraft carriers. The Naval academy estimates that barnacles swell the Navy’s fuel bill by at least $250 million a year. Crafts of all sizes must be dry docked from time to time and subjected to an expensive scraping. 

People may not collect barnacles, but all of us could use some serious “dry docking” sometimes to address the habits, attitudes and addictions that generate life-diminishing drag on our souls. Fear, impatience, bitterness and cynicism, if left unchecked, can take over our existence.

How can we get clean and pursue a deeper walk with God?

Divert daily: Surrender your need to be in control. Nothing does a better job of clearing the clutter away from our hearts than reminding ourselves that God is God and we are not.

Withdraw Weekly: There’s a reason we are told to remember the Sabbath. Rabbi’s believe it is the key to all the other Commandments. If we set aside a generous portion of one day a week to stop, rest, play and pray our capacity to love God and others will be enlarged.

Abandon Annually: Carve out significant portions of time to get away. Break your routine, sleep late, read a book, spend time with people you love. Take time to rethink your goals for work, family and personal growth. 

Choosing to dry-dock our heads and hearts enables us to deal with the barnacles of life dragging us down. 2 Cor. 16:5 “Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith, realize Christ Jesus is in you!”

May God bless you with smooth spiritual sailing.

-Rev Dr William Lewis