O God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.
* This small prayer is known as the Breton Fisherman's Prayer, originating in honor of fishermen from Brittany in northwest France.
U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover had this prayer engraved on a plaque and presented it to President John F. Kennedy. The admiral would afterward present the same type of plaque all new commanders of Polaris submarines.
Admiral Rickover led a long and influential career in the Navy, safely ushering our sea forces into the nuclear age. He is distinguished as the longest-serving Naval officer in U.S. history, completing 63 years of active duty. The following beautiful quote from Milton's In His Blindness was read by former President Jimmy Carter at Adm. Rickover's funeral in 1986:
"...God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."
If you'd like to read more about Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the longest serving Naval officer in U.S. history and the "Father of the Nuclear Navy," you can go here. (I got started with the little prayer and ended up on a deepwater rabbit trail that kept me up past my bedtime reading about the life of this amazing and controversial man. God bless him. May his soul rest in peace.)