This week I am crossing one off the bucket list. As you read this, I am incommunicado on a sailboat in Northern Lake Superior – somewhere between Thunder Bay, Ontario and Isle Royale. This post was written in the marina on Sunday morning before we set sail.
Sailing is one of the things that renews me. The sheer thrill of cutting through the waves with a full mainsail and jib billowing in the wind is incomparable. The sound of the water rushing against the hull and splashes over the gunnels as the boat heels on a starboard tack – what a feeling! No engine sounds allowed here – just the flap of the sails, adjusting of the rigging and an occasional sea gull guffawing.
One of the things I love about sailing is that it slows everything down. Transportation in everyday life is frenzied, like our busy schedules. We motor from place to place at the highest rpm the speed limit will allow. Transportation in the modern world is often viewed as a necessary evil – time we must endure to get us from one appointment to another.
There is something about sailing that turns back the clock to another era. Moving at the mercy of the wind and making headway by tacking at angles to the desired destination slows the journey way down. A slower journey creates time for pausing and savoring the finer pleasures of life. It allows for discovering afresh, space in the universe of time for frequently neglected things like reflective contemplation and meaningful conversation.
It reminds me of a line from the lyrics from Michael Card’s song “Joy in the Journey.” There is a joy in the journey…There’s a light we can love on the way. The reality is that life as it is meant to be lived, is really more about the journey than the destination.
Think about the quality of unhurried interaction afforded Jesus and His disciples through their times together under sail on the Sea of Galilee. Also the Apostle Paul and his traveling companions sailing the Mediterranean from place to place must have had incredible times of leisurely fellowship.
This Sunday morning as I begin my sailing adventure with four other brothers, I am thinking of it this way. Which is more like what Jesus did with His disciples – what we will be doing today or what millions of people will be doing in church? The answer to that should give all of us pause.
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