This body is not “me”, it is mine. It’s the vessel in which I sail through life on this sea, this world. Here and now. On either end of this singular, once-in-a-lifetime journey, a port. Some port. The same port? Hmmm…
The destination might influence the reason for the trip, but not necessarily the manner of sailing. Is this a luxurious cruise I’m on, returning to the starting point after a vacation of sorts? Or an expedition of discovery and exploration? Either I drift along or chart a course into the sometimes-fearful unknown. The latter requires militaristic discipline, and is guided by the legends and stories of those who have gone before – in particular, The One who blazed the trail; the only one who put to sea with an objective but an attitude straight from peaceful latitudes, both. He traveled to experience the world, but in obedience to orders from on high.
A voyage of determination, to change the way things are – or rather, to wisely determine and to change, with courage, the things I can. A trip to be enjoyed, most definitely. But for what purpose? Not mine, but assigned. Yes, that’s it! I’m in the supernatural navy, but this body is my earthly yacht. Like Star Trek, not The Minnow. All the comforts of home, but ready (although certainly not always willing, and often barely able) to do what it takes to stay on course and to not be marooned alone on some deserted island.
I think what I’m trying to say, especially given the wonderful life of ease our modern technology has enabled, is that both, cruise or exploration, have their times. In fact, my James 1:8 means I’m floating or steering from one day to the next. And I’m learning – I have to learn – how to be alright with that. That’s the attitude part. Enjoy, but be ready to take evasive maneuvers, or to batten down the hatches and ride it out. Heavy on the prayer either way.
Consider: on a cruise, the crew and passengers both enjoy. The body and the soul. The soul is mellow, having signed up (and paid for) a jaunt through warm waters and sandy beaches. The crew is all to happy to accommodate – shouldn’t anyone be able to “work” in such comfortable environments? A cruise is looking to avoid the unknown and stick to safe waters, to take a break from the mundane.
An expedition is very different. The Captain has orders from the Admiralty. The crew, literally impressed, must have no choice but to obey or face the lash, unless there be mutiny here, and the body rebels to stop at the nearest sunny shoreline filled with pretty, naked natives. An expedition seeks out the uncharted, persevering through storms to do so. But when that tropical isle is discovered? A break can be refreshing.
Captain, my Captain, which will you decide to be today? To be Master and Commander or to sit back as passenger, letting the body choose? HMS Surprise or Love Boat?
There are two things that strike me as the deciding factors. First, going back-n-forth as I do leaves me (or leads me) on an erratic path. I imagine watching a wooden sailing ship from afar, canvas billowing and flapping, tacking unpredictably and “lubberly” straight into the sinking-storm. Second is our fate that there will be storms. Don’t we have to be prepared to meet them?
Fortunately, life is no longer Noah-like – all ocean and no land. There are protected harbors and timely inlets to stop at and take temporary shelter. To refit and refuel. Shore leave. Church. Support group. Forever family. Then onward again!
No matter how much I may want to stay docked uneventfully at the marina, I can’t change the fact that this body, this ship, is made/built to sail, to be out there on the high seas, whether cruising or exploring.
In fact, today’s My Utmost for His Highest (which inspired the sailing theme of this post), makes that very point in the quote, “It’s easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfill your spiritual destiny.” (Reference Romans 12:1-2) The definition of sacrifice is “an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.” The sacrifice for me is the safety and comfort of never leaving home waters.
So I choose To Boldly Go, unless I really need that 3-Hour Tour.