Today’s Illustration: Staying “Afloat” Or “On Course?”

reading outside of your field dewey decimal worm

Read
Outside Of
Your Field Of
Awareness,
Interest, or
Knowledge!

There are areas of life and living that offer the potential for
UNIQUE and NEW ways to illustrate a point!

. . . . . . . . 

Who: This is the introduction to a speech by Fawaz [Fuzzy] Bitar, chairman Chair of (IOGP) the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers. [1]. “Fuzzy” is a frequent contributor to “Energy Voice”   (also see below).

Event:  It was delivered “virtually” at the ” Extraordinary General Meeting”  in London, on November 18, 2020.

What: It relates to the Bruce Oil Fields & Platforms located in the North Sea. [2]

The Metaphor: A Storm Metaphor — The introduction of Bitar’s speech calls up the metaphor of a storm on one of the most massive oil and gas platforms in the world. [1]

. . . . . . . . 

Storm Breaking

It feels like we’re battling adversity from all sides.

A pandemic sweeping through societies around the world: triggering tragic health and mental health crises—with all of us worried for our colleagues and families.

Of course, there are the economic implications too—with GDP slowing in key markets, demand for oil and gas falling away—with commodity prices and stock markets following suit. . . . . . . . . . . . .

It’s a lot to contend with.

=============================================

And when I was thinking about how to talk about this today, my mind went back to a time when I was working offshore.

It was about thirty years ago. I was on the Bruce platform, [2] out in the North Sea in the middle of winter.

A mighty structure, often referred to as the “last of the dinosaurs.”

I’d been on there for a few days and it had all been fine.

But then, almost out of nowhere, this almighty storm came in.

Many of you have been offshore in conditions like that.

But it was my first time.

And it was terrifying.

30-meter waves… crashing over the platform

You were pretty sure everything would be OK.

But every now and then you’d be caught by a blast of gale force winds… or the platform would suddenly sway… or shudder as a wave thudded against it …

And you’d start doubting.

Maybe this thing isn’t as strong as I thought?

Perhaps this storm is stronger than expected?

Should we have been evacuated already?

But after a while, you get used to it.

You adapt.

And that reminds me of the conditions our industry finds itself in today.

We’re like a fleet of ships.

All being hurled around on a rough sea.

We know where we’re heading but the weather’s so bad that we can’t see the coast.

And we’re all so focused on survival that we can only concentrate on the here and nowstaying afloat, rather than staying on course.

What’s more, the weather forecast is bleak.

The coming months will be tough—very tough.

. . . . . . . . 

Key Phrases:  (from his introduction)

  • battling adversity
  • pretty sure everything would be okay
  • caught by a blast of gale-force winds
  • worried for our families
  • a lot to contend with
  • hurled around a rough sea
  • headed . . . but can’t see
  • can only concentrate on the here and now
  • staying afloat, rather than staying on course
  • after a while you get used to it
  • should we have evacuated?
  • storm is stronger than expected
  • forecast is bleak
  • adapt

. . . . . . . . 

Key Biblical Illustrative Thoughts::

  • storm
  • trials
  • adversity
  • when you can’t see where you are headed
  • survival
  • the here and now
  • staying afloat
  • bleak
  • tough times
  • on course
  • uncertainty
  • doubts
  • adapt
  • feelings
  • anchored
  • withstood the test of storm
  • refuge
  • trusting
  • a new believer / first time

. . . . . . . . 

Three Ways To Use Stories (link):

#1) Using The Thematic Word:  Many generally introduce the theme of the message using such a story.  This is the simplest and most common approach.  You are merely introducing the sermonic theme or content.

In this case, it would be the thematic word(s) might be . . .

  • doubting, or
  • storm, or
  • on course, or
  • get used to it

. . . . . . . . 

i.e. —

“Fuzzy” Bitar is an oil and gas executive who had the unique opportunity to helicopter out to one of the largest oil and gas fields and one of the largest platforms located in the North Sea.

While there, a storm was brewing, and it began shaking that platform — He states . . . . “

But it was my first time.
And it was terrifying.
30-meter waves… crashing over the platform
You were pretty sure everything would be OK.
But every now and then you’d be caught by a blast of gale force winds… or the platform would suddenly sway… or shudder as a wave thudded against it …
And you’d start doubting.

Maybe this thing isn’t as strong as I thought?
Perhaps this storm is stronger than expected?
Should we have been evacuated already?

Have you experienced some of those kinds of storms — You are pretty sure everything will be OK, but every so often, you are not so sure.  You start doubting.  Maybe the Lord should have evacuated me by now.

. . . . . . . . 

. . . . . . . . 

#2) Using A Key Statement: You can go a step further and develop a BIG IDEA!

A key statement from the article might be  — “And we’re all so focused on survival that we can only concentrate on the here and nowstaying afloat, rather than staying on course.” 

As soon as I read that statement, my mind was caught by the usefulness of such a phrase.  It forms the basis for a GREAT BigIdea!

. . . . . . . . 

“Fuzzy” Bitar is an oil and gas executive who had the unique opportunity to helicopter out to one of the largest oil and gas fields and one of the largest platforms located in the North Sea.

While there, a storm was brewing, and it began shaking that platform — He states . . . . “

But it was my first time.
And it was terrifying.
30-meter waves… crashing over the platform
You were pretty sure everything would be OK.
But every now and then you’d be caught by a blast of gale force winds… or the platform would suddenly sway… or shudder as a wave thudded against it …
And you’d start doubting.

Maybe this thing isn’t as strong as I thought?
Perhaps this storm is stronger than expected?
Should we have been evacuated already?

AND THEN HE STATES that when you are in that situation . . . . .

“And we’re all so focused on survival that we can only concentrate on the here and nowstaying afloat, rather than staying on course.”

“Afloat” or “On course” — That is what happens when we storms shake us.  We can focus on staying afloat and unconcerned about whether we are on course.  That is the battle — “Afloat” versus “On Course.”

That will be the battle and was the battle for Daniel — who wanted to stay on course and not eat the king’s food, for Esther — who was initially focused on staying afloat, for Joseph, for Paul, for our Lord — who for the joy set before Him staying on course.

BigIdea:  “Afloat” or “On Course”

. . . . . . . . 

. . . . . . . . 

#3) Building A Sermonic Analogy:  

You can also go with the story as a whole, and build it into a useful analogical illustration.  That is what Tony Evans does so effectively, over and over!

Take Bitar’s introduction, reread it, and focus on the highlighted words. Those are the words and concepts that you are going to “pull down” into the analogical illustration. It is “pulling those words and phrases down” into your message that drives your sermonic point’s content.

Example: Here is an example of Tony Evans doing precisely that!



Other Information & Links:

1. https://www.energyvoice.com/opinion/282826/our-industry-in-crisis-weathering-the-storm/

2. The Bruce Platform lies around 211 miles north-east of Aberdeen, Scotland
Named after the “Bruce Oil Fields,” located in the North Sea.
Located 350 feet below sea level.
In 1993, it was one of the UK’s largest gas-producing fields.
It has a capacity for 168 crew members.
Producing gas and oil since May 1993
Operated by BP — British Petroleum
After Phase II, the flow rate was over 110 million standard cubic feet a day of gas and 14 million barrels a day of liquids.

Bruce Phase II, North Sea

3. If you would like another story by “Fuzzy,” here is the link:
https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/news-and-insights/speeches/climate-change-my-daughter-and-me.html

It can be used to address questions that your children or others ask, which relate to Your Role As A Pastor & Preacher!

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