One week ago, while David and Antoinette were visiting, Kyle called me to see if we wanted to go sailing. His friend, Charlie, had invited us out on his boat. I was thrilled about the opportunity, and I was very excited to have such a great experience to share with my visiting friends. Kyle was less than enthusiastic about the idea but he knew it would mean a lot to us, so he agreed to go. Let's just say that Kyle is more of a land-lover than a sea farer...
When it was time to set sail, Charlie asked Kyle if he wanted to steer for a while, so he did. To help you understand better, let me set the scene for you a little more... Lake Dillon is a large reservoir surrounded by mountain ranges. At times, the valleys between mountains can cause channels where the wind whips through very intensely. This causes "puffs" of air to catch the sails and sometimes the boat moves very apruptly as a result. There were times that the boat went almost all the way on its side! So, you can probably imagine that these moments startled Kyle, our land-loving skipper for the afternoon. His face showed concern and shock, but his hand was steady on that rudder, calmly guiding us back on track.
When Charlie complimented him on his good job steering, Kyle said, "I don't have a clue what I'm doing--I'm just following my instincts to try and keep us alive. I'm just following the wind. I'm letting it tell us where to go..."
That comment got me thinking. There have been many times that God is compared to the wind; you can't see the wind, but you can certainly feel its presence and see the effects it has on its surroundings. So, when do we let God take us where we should go, and how often do we fruitlessly fight against the wind that's trying to guide us?
When the wind was blowing strong and hard, we could feel the effects of the resistance on the sails. It was scary. We had to trust that everything was working together to ultimately get us where we needed to go. When those "puffs" hit, we were thrown off for a moment, but after a little re-adjusting on our part, the wind calmed or the sails filled and our ride was smooth again.
With most other forms of transportation, the person steering has almost ultimate control of where the vehicle goes. Sailing was different, though. The person at the rudder was more of an instrument, part of the whole process, rather than the one controlling it. That's how I'd like to live. I'd like to be an active participant in my life, making decisions and taking on responsibilities so that I'm not solely a passive passenger. However, I don't want to delude myself into thinking that I should or could override the power (wind/God) that is moving me in the first place. That kind of arrogance will just lead to trouble. Like Kyle said, I want to follow the wind and let it take me where I should go. And my hand will stay on that rudder, actively responding and adjusting to the ways I'm being moved at every given moment.