O Captain, My Captain!


O Cap­tain, My Cap­tain! I fear our jour­ney is now done.  Our ship has weath­ered every storm, the prize we’ve sought is won.

These words were penned in 1865 by Walt Whit­man about the death of a great man, Abra­ham Lin­coln. I evoke those same words about another great man who has left us too soon: Rev­erend Lance Chaney.

I call Rev. Chaney great, not because of the things he accom­plished nor because of the wealth he attained. I call him great because of the lives he changed. You see, he changed my life–drastically and dra­mat­i­cally. I can­not imag­ine where my life would be today if I had not met him so many years ago. I was a young man try­ing to find his way into man­hood. Chaney took me under his wings and guided me through some of the tough­est times in my life.

I also con­sider Pas­tor Chaney great because of how he lived and, ulti­mately, how he died. Here is a man who fought can­cer for at least five years. Time and again he was given the bad news that he would likely not live. But instead of col­laps­ing under the pres­sure as so many would have, Chaney stood tall and con­tin­ued to preach love, faith, belief and most of all faith. He preached to encour­age us to keep fight­ing, all the while know­ing his jour­ney was almost done. What courage! What fortitude!

What is the mea­sure of a man if not where he stands dur­ing times of adver­sity? What is the mea­sure of a man if not how he faces his own mor­tal­ity; a man who can look death in the face and still per­form his duties? Dur­ing his dark­est hours, Chaney did “not wince, nor cry aloud, but under the blud­geon­ing of chance,” his head was unbowed.

Chaney was a great man. He was my friend. He was my leader. He was my cap­tain. In life he taught me lead­er­ship. In death he taught me manhood.

O cap­tain, my cap­tain, I fear our journey’s done. The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voy­age closed and done.

Posted in: Inspiration

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  1. Laurie Simon Milton 07/27/2013, 4:59 am:

    Genuine.Amazingly accurate.He touched all in such a way as described.Love and gratitude.

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