The salty sea captain had the kind of leathery wrinkles of a man who seized life in the sun. He squinted and laughed and pretended like he didn’t normally swear. It was the best Groupon I ever bought. A full weekend of sailing lessons for my husband and I.
We did man overboard drills and we jibbed and tacked. I almost ran the boat into the dock.
Our lessons were a few years ago, but I remembered something the other morning about changing direction while sailing. There is a swell of energy and bliss as the wind is carrying a sailboat, but changing direction involves a strange transition. The boat goes from soaring to almost still, the sails go from full and majestic to slack and flapping. You shift the boom, hold your breath, and wait…because the sail should fill with wind again.
I’m in a season of changing direction. How about you?
I’d love to go into this coming fall with strength and momentum, but it feels more like slowing down, of watching my sail flap a little in the wind. I’m holding my breath and trusting the wind is still there, that I’ve pointed myself in the right direction, and that this pause is a necessary part of moving forward.
If you’re holding random pieces of dreams that don’t seem to fit together,
If you’re not sure which work to set down and which to chase after,
If you’re looking at change and not sure what’s on the other side…
Let that sail slack. Watch it flap a bit in the breeze. Breathe in the salty air. This is the moment. It’s the still place where God can change your direction to take you towards all he is dreaming of for you. Don’t look at the horizon. Close your eyes. This is the time to stay still and stay close. Listen for whispers. Be comfortable with the quiet. Don’t be so foolish and anxious that for God to lead you he would have to yank on your leash like an untrained puppy. The wind has not left the ocean. It’s simply changing direction.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Psalm 32:8-9