“… But a [woman] of understanding keeps a straight course.” (Proverbs 15:21b, NIV)
During a recent vacation we decided to try our hand at some different water sports. Spying several Hobie Cats lined up on the beach, my husband exclaimed, “I’ve always wanted to sail one of those,” to which I replied, “Absolutely!” A Hobie Cat is a small sailing catamaran, and before the rental facility allowed us to take it out, a short sailing lesson is a requirement of theirs. Venturing out into the calm bay, we learned how to steer straight, and our instructor established the boundaries of where they permitted us to take the boat. Next, it was time to practice turning our Hobie Cat.
In order to have smooth sailing we quickly learned it was all about the turns—always turn toward the shore, take your time so you’ll go in the correct direction, and let the wind guide you.
As we became more proficient in our sailing skills our confidence increased, we relaxed, and we had a marvelous time out on the water.
While making headway around the bay, I discovered many parallels between sailing and serving the Lord in works He prepared in advance for us. Just as we allowed the wind to guide us, it’s essential to submit to the Holy Spirit and seek His guidance and direction in where we are to serve. He discloses His way to us if we listen to Him. Furthermore, our sailing instructor told us not to sail outside of certain boundaries, illustrating why it’s critical not to take on more than what the Spirit wants you to do. It gets troublesome and we run the risk of burnout if we venture too far out of His will/boundaries for us.
Faithfully staying the course in ministry is necessary as others are counting on you. We need to commit to a particular course and stay on it through focusing and intentionally doing what God has designed for us. Just as we can capsize the boat if we take too quick or fancy of a turn, it can get messy when we go in different directions. Proverbs 4:25 (NIV) exhorts us to, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Sometimes it’s possible to lose focus of the goal, so it’s important to steer a steady course toward it. The Proverb continues with, “Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” in verse 27.
Finally, we know the importance of a safe completion of the journey, landing the boat where we’re supposed to go. Navigating toward the shore, and not giving up, ensures we will present our best to the Lord.
I felt freedom and peace out there on the water, but I knew we were under control—God’s control—as He brought us in to shore.
Father God, I pray for the wind of your Holy Spirit to point me in the proper direction for where you want me to spend my time in service and ministry. Please grant me focus and intentionality serving in those areas, and help me to strongly finish those tasks. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Romans 8:5 (NIV): “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
Galatians 5:25 (NIV): “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 4:14 (NIV): “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.”
Hebrews 12:1b (NIV): “… Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
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