May the Lord help you to do your duty & guide you through all dangers by land and sea.
May you see the Works of the Lord & all His Wonders in the deep.
On the flyleaf of Shackleton’s Bible,
given to the expedition
by Queen Mother Alexandra of England
The order to abandon ship was given at 5 P.M.
Thus begins Endurance, Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing1. I have had the privilege of reading this book over the past few weeks in preparation for our monthly young adult book club. It is the true story of Ernest Shackleton’s attempt at a transcontinental crossing of Antarctica from 1914-1916.
The date was October 27, 1915. The name of the ship was Endurance. The position was 69°5’ South, 51°30’ West—deep in the icy wasteland of the Antarctic’s treacherous Weddell Sea, just about midway between the South Pole and the nearest known outpost of humanity, some 1,200 miles away.
Few men have borne the responsibility Shackleton did at that moment. Though he certainly was aware that their situation was desperate, he could not possibly have imagined then the physical and emotional demands that ultimately would be placed upon them, the rigors they would have to endure, the sufferings to which they would be subjected.
In God’s providence, this book has provided thoughts that burn2 in a great time of need, and it is especially the area of Shackleton’s leadership of his men in this unimaginable situation which captivated me. I began reading the book while the Coronavirus was nothing more than something that was happening far away in China. By the time I finished, our lives in the United States had been turned upside down. I struggled with what I was to do. So much was out of my control. I could do nothing more than submit to the leaders of my local and national government and hope they were making the right calls.
Or was that really all I could do? As I read page after page of Endurance and pondered Shackleton’s leadership successes and failures, an idea began to burn in my mind. While I am not a president, congressman, governor, mayor, or even an advisor, I am a mother and in perhaps one of the greatest positions of leadership a man can have. [Read more…] about Endurance