Nothing slows down a ship like a barnacle. A 2014 article reported that the Navy spends a half-billion dollars in extra fuel and maintenance costs because of barnacles and related organisms.
"Their collective mass is small compared to the overall ship," wrote the author Sara Zhang, "but their little bodies have an outsized effect creating drag around the ship's otherwise smooth hull." So, not only do they weigh you down, they also slow you down.
If you don't ever do anything about barnacles, you'll never need to worry about smooth sailing since before you know it, you'll be using all your energy just to plod along.
Spiritual barnacles have a similar effect: they can do to your faith what ocean barnacles can do to a ship: create a drag and weigh you down, both in quiet waters and in the storms of life.
If you have been nursing a grudge or cradling a beloved barnacle of bitterness that has attached itself to you, you cannot be truly free until it has been dislodged, just like the anti-barnacle song says, "Take away our bent to sinning, Alpha and Omega be, end of faith as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty" (Hymn 384, "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling").
Advent: a time for hope, a time for peace, and a time for barnacles to be released; a time of quiet, a time apart, a time to find ourselves in God's hands, arms and heart.
p.s. the 2014 article is "The Navy's Huge, Hidden Problem: Barnacles on Ships" by Sarah Zhang, published on the GIZMODO website, May 7, 2014.