Years ago, I took a sailing class at a local center for “Oceanic Arts” (fancy name for a Sailing Center). The class was designed to get us sailing like the pros within a few months. Going into the class, I am now sad to admit, I had a pretty arrogant attitude. Having been a person with a lifelong love for the ocean, I thought I would have this sailing “thing” down quickly.
The second class, I got in my trusty 14 foot Lido boat, hoisted my sail like the best of sailors, lowered the rudder into the water and eagerly pushed off from the dock. Within moments, though, I started to panic. For some reason, the wind was blowing my boat sideways across the water, very quickly pushing me right into a significantly larger craft. I quickly checked all the necessities and still was confused, beginning to panic at the thought of having to face a huge lawsuit for putting a “ding” in a very expensive yacht. Then, I heard it; it came from the bullhorn of our instructor, “put your centerboard down.” Well, everyone in the class looked at me as if I was some sort of idiot. You see, you cannot sail a boat that has NO centerboard. It is what gives you the opportunity to maneuver. Without it, you are at the mercy of the winds and your own incompetence.
In life, it doesn’t take long to realize that we all need a centerboard when it comes to navigating the ever-challenging and difficult winds of our lives. There are winds blowing in all sorts of directions, trying to take us here and there in our culture. We constantly hear messages to “buy that, do this, take advantage of people, live for yourself, and indulge your every appetite…” Frankly, the list of messages we see and hear every day is too long to even summarize. Without a centerboard, without a set of values that guide our lives, we are certainly lost. God’s Word provides us with the values that can give us the stability and sense of confidence to navigate the most challenging of life’s seas. God’s Word is readily available to speak to wandering and confused souls who desperately long to live by their God-given design.