Of course, the day after I say I want to choose trust and obedience, I do everything in my power to forget, to rebel, to walk in the opposite direction. Weak. Foolish. Indubitably so.
The layers of dirt, caked over each other. I know they take time to emerge before they can be scrubbed off — and effort on my part to maintain. Sometimes there is a fight to be faced, a struggle, a wrestling, before the rest.
Then: swept away by the mind-boggling power of these waves today. Cape Horn. What a place. Halfway towards the end, as wave after merciless wave struck a lighthouse, ships, sailors, the camera, I wonder — am I the kind of ship that can withstand such storms? I hope so. I hope I won’t sink before I reach safe harbour.
Then: this evening, a sermon based on James 3 about the wise use of words. An immediate connection — “Or think of ships: no matter how big they are, even if a gale is driving them, they are directed by a tiny rudder wherever the whim of the helmsman decides.” (James 3:4 NJB)
How could I ever hope to survive if I am not judicious with my steering, angling myself so as not to be capsized by the Sturm und Drang? And if the steering is done with the tongue … let my words be few.
Never be rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be quick to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2 NRSV)