Disappointment at Tobermory

Have you ever been disappointed? Not the average, my-ice-cream-scoop-just-plopped on-the-ground disappointed, but really deep, dark, down sad? Admittedly, it’s not an emotion I struggle with too badly. Introverts tend to shy away from anything that might grip us with disappointment, so throwing ourselves out there any farther than picking a favourite ice cream at 31 Flavours, doesn’t happen often enough for us to worry about. I hear it’s not the same for people pleasers. My hubby suggested this post, so I have a full disclaimer that it’s his story.

Anyone who knows my beloved, knows he loves a good adventure. Few years back, he wanted to tour a little town on the harbours of Georgian Bay. A boat tour of FlowerPot island near Tobermory, Ontario was the goal. Esteemed hiking trails, breathtaking scenery, the cool waters of Georgian Bay — a road trip adventure for the family. This was the plan for us. Tickets on the tour boat were secured, good food was consumed, and shoppes were browsed like the adept, adventure seeking tourists we were… all was ready for our great adventure to Flowerpot Island. Until the hurricane.

Seriously. We woke up the next morning to crazy high winds, rain, hail and a deluge of weather that was unusual enough to slightly worry about our safety in the hotel, let alone out on the water. Needless to say, our boat tour was cancelled and refunded. The hubby was disappointed. We made the best of it, but I knew he was slightly crushed.

Fast forward to this summer, where yet again, my adventurer and his nobel followers embarked on another trip to Tobermory in search of the allusive FlowerPot Island. Tickets for the tour boat were secured, good food was consumed, and shoppes were browsed — and weather was monitored. We looked good to go! No sign of rain. We sat in a quaint, greasy spoon diner, munching on toast and eggs, when the cell phone went off… “I am sorry, Mr. Mitton, the winds are predicted to be too strong to dock at Flowerpot Island this afternoon as scheduled. We would be happy to have your family on our tour of Georgian Bay, but for your own safety, we will not be docking.”

My poor, forlorn, Beloved sat dumbfounded, half eaten toast halfway to his open jawed gaze as he peered out the window to the absolutely clear blue sky. His slightly less adventurous wife just laughed. I did. I giggled at the upset and pure absurdity of it all. We simply could not understand how this was happening again! It was laughable.

In the end, we did enjoy our “non-stop” tour of Georgian Bay. And yes, the winds were quite high, and the boat company was completely within their rights to ensure the safety of their passengers by not docking in the narrow, rock encrusted alcove, so we could simply have an adventure. Were we disappointed? Sure. But: we did meet a lovely couple from the States who were also sidetracked by the bump in plans. And we did learn some fun facts about the Niagara Escarpment, and we did ride the waves and dream of bigger things.

Perhaps boat tours are only a step up from fallen ice cream cones on the scale of disappointments in life. Maybe your journey includes lost loved ones, betrayal, heartache and deep disappointments, that in no way compare to this little story. Perhaps you have rode the waves of cancer, job loss or other pain. 1 Corinthians 15 reminds us that God knows our disappointments, and He gives us hope to overcome them all! So, be encouraged that even when our plans are thwarted in what seems to be clear, blue skies, sometimes the Captain of the ship is simply protecting you from the rocky shores, and wants to just give you the tour ‘around’ instead.