Without a Rudder or a Sail

Carl appeared to have control as he walked with his head held high leading the way through the neighborhood. It wasn’t until he encountered a cat that he realized that he wasn’t able to break free and pounce on his arch enemy. Instead of being in control, Carl realized that he could only go as far as the leash would take him.img_3808.jpg

We all want to be in control of our circumstances in life. And as long as we assume everything is going the way we think it should, we set ourselves on cruise control and hold our heads up high. It isn’t until we encounter a situation that we don’t see the outcome, that we realize that we don’t have any control at all.

Many years ago, my husband and I owned a catamaran sailboat. He absolutely loved the feeling of getting the air into the sails and bring the boat up on one side. On the other hand, I was petrified when the boat would rise above the surface of the water.

This was particularly true one Labor Day weekend when we placed the boat into the calm sound and steered the boat through the inlet over to the beach. For two days, everyone enjoyed riding out into the ocean and skidding across the water. But on the day that we had to return the boat to the sound side in order to place it on the trailer, the winds and waves picked up drastically.

As I climbed onto the boat, my adrenaline was pumping and a deep seated fear entered my entire being. I knew that if the boat turned over, it may be impossible for my husband to right it up again which could have led to our deaths.

As the winds whipped around us and the waves caused us to dip up and down on the water, my husband realized that something was very wrong. Apparently the ropes had not been tacked correctly and he couldn’t steer the boat. So with only one option, he handed me the steering device and told me to not let go while he climbed down the side of the boat to correct the situation.

During those few moments, I knew that I had no control of what would happen next. There was nothing that I could do but pray and hold fast. This is what it must have felt like when Noah and his family entered the ark and closed the doors.  With no sail or rudder, this family must have wondered what would happen as the rain hit the roof and the boat began to rock back and forth.

Genesis 7:17-24 states, “For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth.  The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water.  They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered.  The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.  Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died.  Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.”

I am sure the entire time that Noah and his family were inside the ark they must have known that they had no control.  They only had faith that God would see them through the situation.

Though my ordeal only lasted an hour, I prayed a lot and rested in the fact that God was in control, not me. As for Carl, he will never understand God’s sovereignty but that’s okay. I will let him think he is leading even when he isn’t. img_1328

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