Barnacles or Full Steam Ahead?


Image taken from Wiki


A crazy image for God to bring to mind.

But poignant.

Since He popped into my head, let’s go with it. Life is like a sailing ship. We have somewhere to go. We have a plan and a mission. It requires fuel and forward momentum.

The problem is sometimes crud attaches, and like a ship with barnacles we waste energy, get slowed down.

“It’s a problem as old as sailing itself. Ever since man set out sea, barnacles have been clinging like, well, barnacles to ships, growing into bumpy masses that slows down vessels and wastes fuel,” says Sarah Zhang. “Turns out these tiny creatures can make a ship burn up to 40 percent more fuel. Their collective mass is small compared to the overall ship, but their little bodies have an outsized effect creating drag around the ship’s otherwise smooth hull.”

Sounds like the crud in my life. Is this familiar to anyone else?

I’ve worked hard to change some thought and behavior patterns that are really no longer a part of me. Thanks to a good God I’ve had some inside-out healing. I’ve fought through to the truth, and it has set me free.

In freedom it is full steam ahead.

And I’ll be sailing along just fine, then I seem to slow down. It takes more emotional/physical/mental/spiritual energy to move forward.

Usually when I think to ask why, I discover stuff has attached itself to me that drags me down. A few that seem to cling too quickly to me are: worry, fear, perfectionism, self-doubt, frustration. I blogged about some of that last week.

And sometimes there’s just a general darkness making me feel sad or discouraged or inadequate.

Do you have anything that seems to easily attach to the ship of your life?

A friend and I prayed together about this stuff last week. She urged me to hold onto my joy. To take time out to say thank you. To praise my God.

As I typed I just got a picture of a barnacle slipping because I turned my thoughts toward good things and speak out positive, holy, joyful, stuff instead of letting my mind dwell on the bad.

The picture of the barnacle letting go sent me back to Goggle. According to The Economist The best way to deal with barnacles is to prevent them from attaching in the first place. The recommend a couple of chemicals, confusing the barnacles, and making the surface so smooth they find it difficult to attach.

I think praise and thanksgiving are like those chemicals that repel the barnacles of my life.


The method of confusing barnacles includes checker-boarding molecules that attract water with molecules that repel water. My analogy is this–what if I seek to confusing negativity by admitting its existence rather than living in denial of the stuff that hurts me. But instead of giving into it, what if I thank God anyway, saying, “I trust you, Jesus,” in good times and bad.

A lifestyle of joy is like that paint that makes a smooth service where it is hard for the barnacles to attach. What’s interesting about this analogy is that it works better for ships that are swift and active than for boats that spent a lot of time at harbor. That tells me that I need to keep moving forward, following my destiny in joy.

Here’s what I think. You and I are moving forward because God has called us forward, and He never loses. But there’s crud in this world that wants to slow us down, steal our energy, and make us work harder than necessary to cover the same space. So we need to be proactive, focusing on the good, praising and thanking the God of the Universe, admitting difficulties rather than living in denial, but choosing to believe in GOOD anyway. As we do this we seek to learn a lifestyle of living in forward momentum and joy, not grinding to a standstill when crud hits, but choosing to keep moving focused on positives.

I’m liking this.

I’m sure I don’t have it all figured out, and what I do have figured out I haven’t lived fully. This post is processing, me and God together, in an attempt to sail full steam ahead instead of giving into the barnacles of life that what to attach to the ship of my destiny and slow me down.

How do you reduce the drag of barnacles in your life? Wanna join me in full-steam ahead living?

Moving forward until next time,

Paula another test (401x192) (2)

PS I know not everyone who reads this blog sees God the same way I do. I hope you’ll still hang around and here at A Benew Journey and glean whatever makes sense to you. We can learn from each other even if we don’t always see things exactly the same way!



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8 thoughts on “Barnacles or Full Steam Ahead?

  1. realchange4u January 26, 2015 at 11:22 pm Reply

    You are back in full force writing. Well you never left from what I saw. I loved this post so much Paula. It spoke volumes to me. We have been having a great discussion on what you let into your soul. Kinda like letting barnacles laying hold of you. Same thing really. Then you said something about joy. I try to remember what God says about me. Not what I am experiencing at the time. Thanks for sharing this. It really did come at a good time for me.

    Much love Tom

    • Paula Moldenhauer January 27, 2015 at 4:45 am Reply

      “I try to remember what God says about me.” Wow, Tom. Powerful statement. That is huge. What a perfect road to joy.

  2. paulfg January 26, 2015 at 11:42 pm Reply

    Va-va-voom!! Wow Paula!! Image after image. Linkage after linkage. All infused with the power of love. Feel like I have just done a wonderful workout!! Thank you thank you thank you!!

  3. Cynthia January 28, 2015 at 1:34 pm Reply

    I like your imagery. I certainly can relate to all of it. It really is about trusting and accepting and moving forward. God is good and I am so grateful to know him. See how pretty those barnacles are. God sees our struggles differently than we do, he sees the beauty in them, the purpose in them.

    • Paula Moldenhauer January 29, 2015 at 3:06 am Reply

      Oh I love that Cynthia!! I need to remember that God sees the beauty and the purpose. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  4. Marie Keates January 29, 2015 at 7:55 am Reply

    Those barnacles are tough to scrape off for sure. Keep on moving Paula 🙂

    • Paula Moldenhauer January 30, 2015 at 1:36 am Reply

      Working on it my friend! I have been doing a lot of processing, and that is how I move forward, I think. Have a great week Marie.

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