Spiritual Sailing

Posted on 27th June 2020 under The Rectory Bulletin

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:7-8).

I am no sailor. The closest I’ve been to sailing is infrequent trips on car ferries, and more frequent trips on a canal boat. That’s it. I’ve watched ‘Pirates of the Caribbean”, but that isn’t really a reliable source for all things nautical.

What I have picked up, though, is the importance of making sure your sail catches the wind. As I understand things, if the wind isn’t blowing in the direction you want to go then you have to zig-zag along. This I gather is called ‘tacking’ and is considered a good thing. Otherwise you simply float lifelessly in the sea, which really does get you nowhere.

In the spiritual life, there are often periods where we feel becalmed. Prayer is hard, and life seems to roll on without any reference to God. These are the times when some spiritual ‘tacking’ is needed! If prayer is dry, try reading a psalm instead. If reading is just as dry, listen to a hymn or a song. Maybe you could phone someone who is housebound, or carry out some other work of Christian charity. What about reading a Christian biography, or just flip though the pages of an old prayer book.

Keep moving the sail until you catch the wind!

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