I was visiting a friend in Sarasota, FL a number of years ago. She and her family owned a beautiful boat that was docked in a marina filled with beautiful boats. It was interesting to me to see people spend a LOT of time on their boats. Soaking up the sun. Eating meals on them. Some people were having dinner parties on their boat as the sun was setting. But I was surprised to see how few of the boats actually left the marina and made their way for the open water.
One of my favorite things to see is a sailboat with its sails up, being carried by the wind, and its passengers enjoying the journey. There is something so majestic to watch it glide along the water being carried along by the wind or resting for a while enjoying the sun, the sea gulls and the sounds of the white caps. Peaceful.
We know it is not without danger. I learned firsthand how a storm can sneak up on you when you are out at sea. And it is important to have a captain who knows exactly how to handle the boat, to weather the storm and get you safely back to the harbor. It is then that we most appreciate a safe harbor. But here’s the thing: boats weren’t made to stay in the harbor. They were made to sail the wide open waters. With proper safety equipment and an experienced captain at the helm a boat can do what it was created to do for an audience to enjoy the journey.
We may feel safe tied to a dock in a harbor but we weren’t made to live there either. Living our life to the full means getting out into some uncharted areas sometimes. Jesus – the Life Giver – is the best life jacket we can wear in life. The Holy Spirit gives us discernment to navigate the path. Trust that God is at the helm of our boat and that gives us a full crew for this journey. When was the last time you put your sails up and trusted that God was in the wind?!