Living aboard a sailboat provides an abundance of devotion ideas. Now that I’m home long enough to feel settled and figure out a new normal, I’m beginning to keep a list. Here’s the first on that list.
My youngest daughter—Kim—and her husband David joined us on Friday night a couple weeks ago. Several of David’s family members arrived after breakfast on Saturday morning. We untied the ropes, disconnected the hookups, and headed down the Fraser River toward open water. The marine forecast had predicted strong winds—excellent for a good sail but not enough to scare anyone.
What can I say? We sailed alright. Boy, did we sail. A couple of our guests hurled. Even I turned green. But that wasn’t all.
By the time we returned to our dock, the engine refused to shut off, both toilets had failed, and my propane stove had stopped working. The day resembled nothing like I’d expected. All I could muster in way of prayer was a weak, “Oh Jesus, help!”
Life’s like that. We have dreams and hopes and good intentions, but stuff happens that splashes cold water on all of them. Worse, we may feel like a big wave has broadsided us. We gasp and sputter for air. All we can manage in way of prayer is a weak, “Jesus, help!” And He does.
Thankfully He sent a neighbor to our slip that evening, and that neighbor knew exactly how to turn off the engine manually.
Thankfully He gave Gene the knowledge needed to fix one toilet that night. He figured out how to fix the other one three days later (it runs on a different system than the first). I’m learning to celebrate the simple things, if you know what I mean.
Another overnight houseguest arrived before a marine electrician could come to fix my stove. That meant planning a menu without the use of oven or stovetop—not the end of the world, but a tad inconvenient.
Sometimes Jesus rescues us immediately. Sometimes He waits longer than we’d wish. The timing is His business. Our role is to release our fears and worries to Him and to rest in His ways.
Life aboard a sailboat is teaching me to release my expectations, my cares, and my desire for control to Jesus. Fear and worry are pointless. He’s the Captain of my ship, and I’m along for the ride.
By the way, when the electrician arrived several days later, he looked at the stove and estimated that repairs would cost $1000. Then he said, “Wait a minute—I’m going to check something else.” He opened a kitchen cupboard, mucked around with a few wires and grinned. “Sometimes I surprise myself,” he said. “The problem was a disconnected wire. I just saved you $1000. At least I’m honest.”
To this I mustered a hearty, “Thank You, Jesus!”
Stay posted for more lessons learned aboard a sailboat. No doubt there will be many!