Living a life of entitlement is a dangerous thing. I often find myself with a false sense of ownership, of possession. Like stepping onto a ship and immediately assuming the role of captain. I pretend like I know how to sail this vessel, when in reality I barely know how to swim. I march on board and lead everyone around me to believe that I am an expert. That I am in control and know just what is ahead.
This is laughable. I don’t know how to properly paddle a canoe, let alone sail a ship. I grip the wheel so tight, thinking if I can just hang on through this ocean squall everything will be all right again. Eyes squeezed shut and clenched fists will somehow bring smooth sailing and sunny skies. But there is so much more to sailing a ship than just hanging on for dear life.
My Captain has calmed the storms just by speaking the word. He has conquered sea with just a whisper. He knows the wind and the waves, because out of his breath they were formed. And this vessel I try to direct on my own accord: He crafted, shaped, and released onto the waters, onto its voyage with direction and a purpose.
I try to commandeer ‘my’ ship, to yank away the wheel and head for uncharted waters. Ignore the compass and the direction of the currents. I know best. I’m in charge now. This only lasts for a short while. Because the moment clouds roll in or tides change I am spun into a panic. Searching for ropes to pull and sails to release. For anchors to drop and gear to throw overboard. The ship rocks side to side and threatens to capsize.
All the while, my Captain is waiting on deck. Silent, calmed. I run circles around Him trying to fix the mess I have created. The fear of sinking nearly breaks me. The thought of drowning fills me with despair. Yet, He whispers to me, as he whispered to the waves. And when I finally release my clench fists from the wheel of this ship, His ship; steady hands guide us to safety.
The calm surrounds, and I wonder whey I didn’t let go sooner. I turn, and He is there.
He tells me which sails to release, and which ones to tighten. He gives a direction and co-ordinance and sets a speed. He shows me maps of the places we will sail. He points out the stars we will follow. He directs me to places on the ship that are in need of repair for the journey ahead. He teaches me about the currents and the wind. I follow His lead.
Our voyage together still encounters storms. The seas are choppy and the winds howl. But I am not hanging on for dear life. My Captain propels us through the dark waters with a steady turn of the helm. I navigate the way He has taught me. We are in sync. Sailing, soaring, across open oceans.