Don’t Forget the Eraser….okay, I’m a crummy course charterer…..when we had a boat and were taking our Boat USA course to “captain” our little boat, I was told if I failed the test, Lewis would automatically fail….what a joke! But, talk about pressure! Well, if I do say so, I did pretty well with my courses until it came to “charting my voyage from Point A to Point Z. Needless to say, well, needless to say……
I guess in honesty, I’ve never been really good at planning for the future – at least not without disappointment. Truthfully, I find it a full-time job just trying to live in the here and now. I must say I do envy those who have long-range goals and actually attain them. My conversations tend to be sprinkled with “I wish I would have…”; “Maybe next time.” So if your iPhone is confidently mapped out until the end of our time, you will laugh at this thought.
I’ve slowly learned along life’s way to make plans in pencil and carry a fat eraser…..case in point…I do have a calendar in my phone that I use, I have a calendar in my purse and I have a calendar on the desk in our kitchen, and no, please do not analyze me….that would be a massive task! My sister is a strong financial planner, but when the downturn of the stock market caused much angst, it reminded us that while we may make smart future decisions, life is full of merely floating on unchartered waters and we hope we remain calm and flexible in order to survive.
Flexibility is a necessary quality of a gifted course charter. I tend to be a bit rigid, I suppose. When I was being formed in my mother’s womb, I think my crankcase got wound too tight. It’s hard for me to accept some of the changes in the lives of those I love, and in mine.
How does one overcome inflexibility? If we live life through enough crosswind seasons, I guarantee either we’ll learn to be pliable or we’ll shatter – or our rigidness will turn to bitterness. Imagine a sailboat with iron sails. The winds would have no chance to propel us to our destination and if that isn’t enough….the weight of the sails would sink our little boats.
Now, I’m beginning to learn, as I try to conquer these unchartered waters, that I must trust in God to be at the helm of this vessel and that my ways are not necessarily God’s ways and that His plans supersede all others, which will lead me to the task of flexibility. My new pliable sails corrected, my course and I relinquished the oars to Him to bring us safely to shore. That can be scary to those of us who like to be a wee bit in control, but we pray, and eventually we learn, to lean into the wind and love the newfound freedom in God’s direction, even when we don’t understand where we are…He does.
Whether we are talented at mapping a course or we’re hesitant sailors, what will make the journey a success is our willingness to sail the course God has charted. So let’s climb in the boat, grab a pencil, and – oh yes, don’t forget the eraser….and by the way, I did pass my course on “charting a course” because I was wise enough to sit by a good friend who is an excellent pilot.
“Lord, teach us to chart a course and then follow your lead. May the winds of your Spirit fill our sails as we lean into you.”