Ask anyone except a sailor what smooth sailing looks and feels like and you will hear words reflecting easy going, no buffeting, no bumps or roller coaster experiences, and straight lines. As a sailor the same question and you will hear words like strong winds, prevailing currents, and effective navigation. For a sailor, buffeting winds can be good, roller coaster experiences (swells) are a fact of life, and the need to tack means that you rarely (never) get to your destination along a straight line!
I wonder if the Psalmist was thinking as a sailor when he wrote “It’s smooth sailing all the way with God of the Angel Armies.” (Psalm 84.12) Even now, as I think of the bumps, swells, spray, and notoriously difficult winds in life as I know it, I find the the idea of smooth sailing confusing. Is smoothness defined by the exhilaration of sailing to the maximum? Or do I want something benign that translates into an unmoving boat caught in life’s doldrums?
I find myself listening to Life’s whispers and focusing on the following points.
If we live, really live, life will be chaotic and filled with extreme emotions. In the presence of good and evil, living means we will relentlessly be pulled and pursued by both. To live is to throw ourselves into the arena and live as if our very lives depend on it, because they do.
To move forward requires desires, aspiration, and hope. Moving forward will be shaped by our intention, dreams, and priorities. It is the combination of these elements that creates relationships, memories, and our history.
Everyone happens in the moment. We can look at our wake and understand where we have been. While useful, the question is always present is one of course and action. We must take action.
As much as I like to rest, I also long to sail. My prayer today this; “May the winds be at our backs, may the currents be in our favor, and may we always know Divinity’s embrace and the protection that comes with it.”