“Better Boat” is a song written by Travis Meadows and Liz Rose that Kenny Chesney used on his latest project “Songs For The Saints”. The album was made as a tribute to the human spirit after Hurricane Irma tore through the Virgin Islands in 2017. Kenny has a home there and is a part time resident. He immediately started planning this album and all proceeds will go to his Love For Love City Foundation, which funds rebuilding projects. When I heard the song on the radio this week, it resonated with me and I knew it was what I wanted to write about.
Life’s storms often come without warning and leave us battered, scarred and not exactly sure what our next step should be. We may even be concerned about the shaped of our ‘boat’, and if will sustain another gale. What I love about the lyrics of this song is that it doesn’t just talk about how bad things can get, there’s a solid message of HOPE. It’s more than just getting through this storm, it’s about preparing for the next one; which will eventually come no matter who you are. And there are strong, actionable steps that you can take to ‘build a better boat’ straight for the words of the song.
‘I’m smiling more despite the pain’. Keep a positive attitude. Life did not conspire against you; it rains on both the good and the bad. The difference in the length of recovery is partly determined by how much grace and gratitude you wake up with every morning despite the pain. With every storm you weather, you are storing up reserves to get you through the next one.
“I breathe in, I breathe out.” Take it one day at a time. Whether you are rebuilding a home, or a life, it doesn’t happen in a day. It takes time, resources, help and pure grit to put things back. Some days there is great progress, and others, it seems like you may have gone backwards. Understand it is a process and continue to breathe. These breathing exercises will serve you well the next time around.
“Got friends to call who let me talk.” What an incredible gift our friends are. The true ones, the ones who are there for us, let cry on their shoulder and then put that shoulder with ours to do the hard work. Just remember, friendship is reciprocal though. There will come a day when they need you too; make sure you show up. Every storm highlights the depth of our friendships and we learn who we can count on when the clouds gather again.
“I’ll let God do what He does.” Faith is a vital factor in weathering life’s storms. So many times we do not understand the whys and the what ifs. We struggle with comprehending how this could happen. We must find a way to trust that God sees where you are and He has a plan. It may not be visible at the moment, but that actually is the definition faith; to believe what we can’t see. So believe.
“I ride the waves I can’t control.” How often do you feel things are just out of your control? During a storm, this happens a lot. Don’t fight against the rising seas. Flailing and fear is useless and will only make it worse. In the midst of it, all you can do is just hold on and ride it out. Survival is the main goal. Conserve your energies for when the winds subside and calm is restored.
Travis Meadows struggled with substance abuse issues and it was during a recovery one meeting where the group was discussing the difficulty in finding peace and serenity during life’s storms. It was then someone in that group uttered the phrase that spurred him to form the anchor line for this song….
Serenity is not found in a calmer sea; it’s found in the building of a better boat.
My Hopefuls, if I can calm the raging storms in your life (or mine), I would. We do not have that control. We do, however, possess immense strength, determination, love and HOPE. It is these attributes that will help all of us craft a better boat. Let’s get to building…..
Hope With Abandon
Take a moment to listen.