Spiritual Moments… what was your most memorable moment?

The Pastor this morning asked us to stop and think about the spiritual moments in our lives. Like many people, I think I have had my share.

The first time I came face to face with my belief in something greater than myself. The day my Dad died.   

          john-c-macpherson-jr-boot-camp-picture_thumb                   Dad and Uncle John 001 

The day I discovered first hand that my life has an expiration date too. All of these dates have significant meaning.

For submariners of a certain generation, this will be one of those defining years. In April 1963, the USS Thresher entered history as the first US nuclear submarine to be lost at sea. As we get closer to the month, more and more stories will be published about that event half a century ago. SUBSAFE was born as a result and so were stricter observances to quality in general.


That legacy stays with most of us today. I have been blessed to have a few nephews follow my brother and I as submarine sailors. Its good to know the legacy continues despite a few bumps and bruises. One of my nephews is heading to a boat that recently found out about bumps and bruises. My spiritual moment this day was a prayer for him and his shipmates.

The most significant spiritual moment in my life though was one I have written about before. As the Pastor spoke, I found myself back in the control room of the Georgefish. Periscope depth at night in a typhoon is a foolish place to be. On a 598 class boat, it is a ridiculously foolish place to be. Wave after crashing wave coming down on the sail and exposed missile deck left a crew badly shaken.

After the loudest wave crash seemed to make everything deathly silent for a minute, hearing the OOD softly saying the Lord’s prayer was my moment. The hull seemed to hang in its righting moment for just a brief moment in time. No one else was speaking as the inboard planesmen struggled to keep the rudder from swinging and fear was the most prescient force outside of those simple words.

I know that I did not have the presence of mind to think about the event that had happened a little over ten years before our trip in the icy waters of the northern Pacific. I can’t help but wonder now if someone on the Thresher shared that prayer as the noise increased… I wonder if I would have remembered to do so?

God Bless Submariners of every age who have served and sacrificed so that others might have freedom.


John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends

Mister Mac

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