Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

July 8, 2012

Sailing Against The Wind

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Sailboats are introduced to us early in life.  It may be from one of our earliest books . . . or that toy sailboat to play with in the tub.  Then there comes a time when we see one on the lake or in the ocean.  I can recall times watching them glide along the water.  They are always a joy to observe.

But I believe a jolting moment in my life occurred when I watched a sailboat glide across that water with such grace, and suddenly realized that another sailboat was coming from the other direction!  How can that be?  How can one sailboat travel west to east and another sailboat travel east to west . . . but both pushed along from a wind from the west?

When the boat is going in the same direction as the wind, the wind force simply pushes the sail.  But how can a boat sail against the wind?  The boat cannot sail directly into the wind, but one can zig-zag into the wind — called tacking.  If the attempt is made to sail directly into the wind — the boat would just sit there.  The boat would be “dead in the water” as they say.

Here is the secret of sailing:  It is not the direction of the wind that determines the direction of the boat — it is the direction of the sail!  The sail can be set to capture the wind regardless of the direction of the wind.

Boy, have I been learning a lesson from this!  Seems lately I have had some unfavorable winds.  Circumstances can come into our life that seem to get us off course.  I have a choice to seek to go headlong into the opposing wind . . .  but if I do, I will just be “dead in the water.”  I would make no progress in life’s journey.  Probably the result would be complaining, bitterness, anger, and even  blaming God.

But I can move forward!  I cannot control the direction of the wind, but I can have a  sail that is set to reach my goal.  I may not reach it as fast or without more effort, but I can move forward into that contrary wind because my sail is properly set.  My boat continues to move ahead because my sail captures the contrary wind and uses it to power my life.  Whenever unfavorable winds blow against us, we may struggle, but we must not quit or give up.  Tacking (zig-zagging) may get us off your course temporarily, but we are still moving forward.  The more experienced we are in tacking, the less we will be bothered by the contrary wind!

Everyone will know difficulties . . . we should expect such.  If we are prepared to adjust and set our sail, we will capture that contrary wind and use it as an advantage rather than a roadblock.

Here is my advice to me:  The wind does not determine my direction.  My direction is determined by the set of my sail!  And my sail is Jesus Christ!  I may be “tacking” right now, but He, as my sail, keeps me moving forward toward my life’s goal — to honor and glorify Him!

” . . . being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience . . . .”  (Colossians 1:11)



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