Thursday, August 4, 2011

Adjusting the Sails

We use to have a sail boat.  My husband loved it although it turned him into Captain Bligh.  It was a day sailer--22ft.  He steered with the rudder, while we had to stay "put" -- yet also move when he said move!  So at the start of summer, everyone wanted to go sailing with Dad, by the end of summer, the crew had deserted.  No one wanted to get yelled at, anymore.

Besides the yelling, the sail boat was scary.  I never felt we were safe.  If it were too windy, it was hard to manage the jib, main sail, and the rudder.  I often felt like I was at the mercy of the wind.  If there were no wind, there wasn't a damn thing you could do about it, except drop the motor down and use it.  You definitely were at the mercy of the wind.

This memory was brought to the forefront in my reading of Sunday's Gospel: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Matthew 14:22-33.  I can really feel for the men being tossed about in the boat.  I know that Jesus will calm all our fears, if only we trust in Him.  But that's not first on your mind when your busy ducking the boom, and pulling down the jib, and securing the lines, while trying to not get swept overboard, and hope the main sail doesn't snap.

Another image came to my mind, also, as I read these verses.  The Church is often depicted as a boat.  Sometimes it's tossed about, and sometimes it sails along calmly.  We have a sign hanging up on the wall that reads: "You can't control the wind, but you can adjust the sails."

No the Church can't control the wind, but it does adjust the sails.  The times call for repairing the sails.  The sea is rough and the sails need to be reefed, ....stay steady.

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