Setting Sail

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters is a series of short biographical poems about the people who lived in the fictional town Spoon River. One of the characters, George Gray, looks back over his life and compares it to “a boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.” George was offered many opportunities during his lifetime and was hungry to find meaning in life. In reflecting, he knew he should have left the harbor and set sail in order to fully experience life. However, George was afraid. He feared becoming disillusioned, and he dreaded taking chances. So…George never set sail. He longed for the sea yet was afraid.

George Gray’s life describes the life of many Christians. Let’s imagine that we too are like ships in the harbor. What are the destinations, the opportunities, that Christ has for us to explore? In what ways does he want to use our spiritual gifts, our skills, and our passions? Are we sitting in the harbor or have we set sail?

You might consider these questions –

What is the next step in my spiritual growth?
What area of service or study or support should I consider?
What is preventing me from "setting sail?"
What do I need to do in order to “launch?”

After a short time in the harbor reflecting the direction God would have us go, we must then set sail. Often this means we will feel like George, afraid of taking chances and afraid of becoming disillusioned. However, we should always remember that a ship must be in motion to be guided. How can God guide a ship that stays in a harbor and never sets sail?

In our spiritual walk, we must set sail. We must be in motion. Then we should look to our Captain to guide us. He is waiting for us to leave the harbor.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10

To view the poem, "George Gray," click here

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pam said...

What a wonderful analogy. There are so many things that relate to a boat at a dock...barnacles and algae growning on the hull, sails rotting and drying out, and the possibility that the boat will simply sink because of disrepair. On the otherhand, a boat in motion is a thing of beauty. Similar to our spiritual life, it is blown by a wind that we can neither control nor predict and yet, when we go with it, it is one of the most beautiful experiences on earth. Storms will hit, lightning strikes, things break, but with the help of other sailors, and patience, and a desire to experience rushing through the waves again, we deal with the obstacles and return to the sea...the place that the boat is meant to be.

GACA said...

The scenery never changes at the dock, but think of all the wonderful experiences and challenges that come as you launch out into the deep.Earlier mariners navigated by the stars. We also have a "Star" that will lead us out and back into safe harbor if we keep our eyes fixed on Him.

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