In the Ceilidh band we used to play a jig called Ships in Full Sail (I can only find a home-grown YouTube version). It’s a cheerful little tune and the title came to mind, this morning as I said goodbye to Tim. He was only off to work, but at the moment it feels like we are a ship in full sail with every stay straining tight and every sheet firmly tied in position. It feels like we are moving forward at great pace, in the strength of the wind. It is good. It is exciting. Everything on our ship is under strain from the sheer force of moving forward. It was this image that flashed through my mind as I kissed Tim – a ship straining in the wind cutting through the water at pace .
He’s holding all the stays of managing an election campaign down. He’s holding all the stays of natural pastoral challenges, that come with leading a church, down. He’s holding all the stays of fathering our eldest through his first lot of exams down. He’s holding the stays of supporting others, facing tough times, down. He’s holding all the stays of an exciting building project, that is designed to be a gift to our community, down. He is weathering resistance and the waves of doubt that rise from others when people forget where we’re going and what we are doing. He’s the Captain pulling out the map, reminding us of our purpose.
And what am I doing? Good question. I am helping him navigate. I am reaffirming that he is a good Captain. I am checking all the stays are in good condition. I am oiling them, checking they are fixed firmly, and trying to provide as much comfort as possible to keep them secure. I admire their strength. This Captain has incredible strength of character. I see it as I stand back to look at the Ship in Full Sail. I love what I see. I’m excited by the sense of strength, faithfulness and pace at which things are moving forward. I’m encouraged by the confidence of being in the right place at the right time, doing what we are designed to do. In this ship, I see a family that make me proud of their love and respect for the Wind that drives the ship on. In the ship, I see a family learning to look after the stays that keep us safe, strong and moving on.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. John 3:8
I’m so grateful!