We had planned a day of sailing on a local lake but when we arrived at the marina there wasn't any wind. The flag that should have been flying high atop the row of parked boats was perfectly still. And even a landlubber like me knows you can't sail ...

 

Grace with Silk: Sailing on the Winds of Change





We had planned a day of sailing on a local lake but when we arrived at the marina there wasn't any wind. The flag that should have been flying high atop the row of parked boats was perfectly still.

And even a landlubber like me knows you can't sail without wind.

This excursion is meant to be a dress rehearsal of sorts to try out my seaworthiness for a few hours since I’ve only been sailing once in my life and that was decades ago.

Since then boats of any shape or size tend to make me queasy so I'm quite cautious when I think about weighing anchor.



But sailing is very important to the captain accompanying me, so I want to give it a try.

Of course, my focus has been on finding stylish attire for this sailing junket so I'm excited to find a red, white and blue striped shirt hanging in my closet, along with a nautical-looking bag I use for the beach. And with a ruffly pair of flat dock shoes replacing my usual high-heeled footwear, I'm ready to set sail.

But at the windless marina, we switch our sea-faring plans from a sailboat to a pontoon boat instead.

We decide to eat the provisions we brought {sandwiches and chips} at the marina’s mini tiki bar before we board the boat and chug out on the water.




Once we fire up the motor, we cruise past docks and houses and fellow boaters as we make our way around the lake.

So far, so good.

I'm enjoying my waterway tour, noticing how lakefront homeowners decorate their outdoor spaces.

There are fire pits and colorful Adirondack chairs, perfect for summer gatherings. There are a couple of abandoned canoes in an unkempt corner of an otherwise beautifully manicured lawn that remind me of a favorite book I read one summer when I was a pre-teen.



I'm lost in thought about camps and canoes when we turn the boat around and see the sky behind us.

It's filled with threatening dark storm clouds that are gaining on us, yet the sky in front of us is blue and beautiful.

How did we not notice it?

We hear loud rumbles in the distance and I worry about lightning strikes, always a hazard in a Florida thunderstorm.



I'm glad the captain is already heading back to shore as the rain starts to blow in under the little awning of the boat.

We have plenty of wind now and it blows the chairs over on the pontoon boat's deck.

This wasn't quite the sunny and idyllic boating debut I'd hoped for. The storm blew up so suddenly.

But maybe the winds of change are like that too, aren't they?



Sometimes sudden, sometimes fierce, those winds of change stir up everything around them.

And I feel as if I'm in the midst of them lately.

They're swirling around me at work, at home and in my heart. Some days it seems as if they sweep through every part of my life.

Although I've impatiently waited for change to come and I know that many of these changes will probably be good in the long run, the short-term experience is proving uncomfortable and unsettling. These changes require sacrifice, surrender and a spirit of unselfishness, that sometimes just seems too hard for me.

But I know that all of this change is a good thing.


Because it's transforming the places in me that badly need it.

I've learned that in waiting for change, God gives us unique insights. He grants remarkable perspectives that can invite us into the changes and renew us, and then they reshape how we look at everything in our lives.

In the midst of change, we have a truth to anchor us. God never changes.

I remember one of the first verses in the Bible I learned as a child: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. {Heb. 13:8}

When the winds blow, our anchor holds secure. That is a truth I trust, and I hope you can too, during your seasons of change.


We pull the boat into shore, the captain secures it, and we make a run for the car during a break in the storm across the now-swampy yard of the marina.

We drive next door to a dockside grill.

By the time we walk out to the deck to find a seat, the servers are wiping down the tables and the sun is shining again.

I'm sitting at a table, looking out on the lake when I realize I didn't get sick at all out on the boat. I wasn't queasy a bit, even in the storm.


As I eat my coconut shrimp, I wonder if I could call my inaugural expedition on the water a success?

There's not a stormy cloud in the sky now and the water skiers have already returned to the lake. It's almost as if the storm never happened.

But I weathered it.

And you can too.

What changes are you navigating? I'm cheering you on!


I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart. Join me there!