Controlling the Winds

Written By: Chris Mace

Sailing off Schoodic Point, Maine

Winds blow! Seas rise! Sails billow! Boats move! But without a rudder boats flounder. Controlling the rudder determines the direction in which the ships slips along. James, the brother of Jesus (when speaking about the power of the tongue) said , “…a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. (James 3:4-17 (NLT2)

Buffeted about by cultural influences, difficult circumstances, and a world full of powerful delusions, we may flounder because of anxiety, depression, fear, stress, worry, indecisiveness, temptations, and misinformation, but if we are centered with a strong sense of meaning and purpose, we can recover and regain a steady, intentional course. The Psalmist found his orientation, meaning, and stability in his relationship with God:

Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
 Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:3-7 (NLT2)

In his Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5-7),  Jesus specifically addressed the important values which lead to a peace filled life centered on God and others. He ended his teaching with a parable about a wise man and a foolish man:

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

Someone has said, “ The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder…” Christ brings truth which gives meaning and purpose and stability to life. A good place to hear him out is the Gospel of John.


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