I know many people, as do you, Dear Reader, who are coping with pain and deteriorating health and loss and financial difficulties and…the list goes on and on. I thought of them and their struggles (and my own, as well) this morning when I read an uplifting poem by J. R. Miller. I found it in the Feb. 11th devotional in Streams in the Desert.
The poet wrote about an imaginary conversation between Christopher Columbus (the Admiral) and his Mate as they and the rest of the crew sailed to the New World. Before them was “only shoreless seas.” When the Mate felt they should pray, since the very stars they needed for navigation were gone on that dark night, he asked the Admiral what he should say.
The Admiral replied, “Why, say, ‘Sail on! Sail on! And on!’”
When the Mate said his men were growing more mutinous every day and that they were ghastly pale and weak, he asked again what he should say, if, the next morning, all they could see was sea.
The Admiral’s answer was the same: “‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’”
When the Mate described the sea as having “lifted teeth, as if to bite,” he begged the Admiral to tell him what to do, since hope was gone.
His answer: “’Sail on! sail on! and on!’”
As you know, Dear Reader, the Admiral and his crew eventually reached land and gave the world “its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”
May this lesson encourage us to sail on. Surely, surely, smoother seas and welcoming shores are just ahead!
"...we are always of good courage...
for we walk [live--and sail on!] by faith,
not by sight."
~Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:6-7, ESV