On Boats & Sailing

charlesSomething to Think About
Charles Jackson
Jan 18, 2013

“When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.” (Mark 6:47-48)

Much of what I know about life I learned from owning a sail boat. She was a Chrysler Marauder – eighteen feet long with main sail and jib.

Recently, Mary and I were watching a movie when the scene moved inside a shop that fabricated and repaired sails. For a brief moment, the camera focused on a wall with a plaque that read: “You can’t change the wind but you can the sail.” A poem that has appeared in many of my sermons goes like this:

One ship sails east, another sails west,
With the selfsame wind that blows.
It’s the set of the sail, and not the gale
That determines the way that she goes.

Most people do not know one can sail a ship into the wind – actually within 33 degrees of dead center. It’s the set of the sail. A sail works the same as an airplane wing. The cupped sail retards air flow and creates low pressure on the front side and high pressure on the back side, thus, the sail pushes the boat. Some sails only serve to turn wind into the main sails. So, you see how much of life is explained by owning a sail boat.

Let’s pretend one could sail a ship across land from New York City (on the East Coast) to San Francisco (on the West Coast). If one were off only one degree (there’s 360 on the compass), one would end up in Canada. I have friends whose life’s direction is off but little, but, will end at the wrong destination.

Winds are ever changing and come at us from every direction. Give attention to the sail.

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