This past weekend’s sailing adventure got me thinking about life. There’s such incredible freedom and exhilaration when you’re out on the waves and under the direct power of the wind.
You know where I’m going with this, right?
It’s just not possible to fully understand the concept of sailing while your boat is still tied to the dock. Being unemployed and still receiving severance is a little like that. “Ahoy God, sailing it is. Look – here I am, sitting in the boat, trusting you!” But you’re not really going anywhere, and it’s not very challenging. You’re tied to the safety of the dock.
My severance ended July 31. So aye, matey, having left the dock… we be sailing. I do still have a couple of other checks coming in, and I do have some savings. It is both frightening and wonderful to be out on the open sea. There’s a sense of freedom in being abandoned to God’s provision. It’s exhilarating.
But what’s ahead is unknown – and could be dangerous. I have been sailing once when the weather turned, unpredictable winds and huge surf – blue water breaking over the side, life vests on of necessity – and me truly fearful of whether we would reach our destination. (We did.) Which puts me in mind of Peter, who – clearly trying to show off – got out of the boat to go see Jesus, who just happened to be walking by. Distracted by the storm, he started to sink, and Jesus had to walk him over and help him climb back in the boat.
The thing is, I’ve reckoned about how far I can get on my own. Beyond that – I see storm clouds. And just like Peter, when I get distracted by the stormy darkness in the distance – the economy, unemployment statistics – I feel myself sinking into panic. So, I’m learning to keep my eyes on Jesus, who I picture walking right alongside my boat, and who says today just what he said to Peter, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”