Thursday, November 01, 2012

Marine Wisdom

                                                                                                                                    by Glynis M. Belec


A Ship in harbour is safe - but that is not what ships are built for. 
John Augustus Shedd

                    Brilliant. My niece, Rachel posted this superb quote on her Facebook status this morning. For some reason, it stirred my heart. Rachel does have brilliant tendencies and she has written some equally wonderful words in the past, so I didn't think I was out to lunch reasoning that she had penned it. But she 'fessed up and told me she did not know who the creator was. With an inquisitive mind and a desire to know, I did as I am inclined to do when stuck with a conundrum, I 'Googled' it.
                Sure enough it was there. John Augustus Shedd (1859 - ?) was an American author and professor. In 1928 he wrote Salt from My Attic and this is apparently, a quote from his book.
                 As I started to reflect upon Shedd's wise words, I thought about my own comfort zone. My harbour is my home and if I had my way, I would stay safely hitched to the dock. Only a slight rocking to remind me I am afloat. I like the safe feeling; the benign moments knowing I am tethered and secure in my own place.
                The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that just as a boat is not built for rocking to and fro anchored to a dock, neither was I created to feel comfortable each and every waking hour tied to my home or my office. Oh yes, I do believe God wants me to enjoy peaceful moments and sense the safety of His grace and unconditional love. He has given me a desire to write and to stay close to home with my tutoring job, so I can't be dashing here there and everywhere, but untying the knot and setting sail to where God wants me to go, should truly be my desired destination.
          I don't think that necessarily means I have to travel the briny ocean and leave for foreign parts. But it might mean I have to stretch myself and be more attuned to the needs of others; to bite my tongue when I feel I need to retaliate; to convert my busyness into fruitfulness. Whatever my lot, I will find contentment and the realization that God has made me for so much more than I can even comprehend.  
The key is to listen. To discern. To heed. Some days are easier than others. I am drawn to joy and laughter and hope. On the days when I cannot breathe, I remind myself of things that matter. Then my joy returns. Laughter releases endorphins and I relax. Each new day is a reason to hope. Stepping out of my comfort zone, out of my harbour, can be a place of pure joy purely because Jesus is there. 
          So thank you Rachel, for giving me something to think about today. I love the challenge you have (perhaps) inadvertently set before me. And thank you to Mr. John Augustus Shedd. Who knew your words from 1928 would make it to Facebook 84 years later (and make a bit of difference for at least one soul?) 


Peter Black said...

A worthy quote and a wonderful piece, Glynis.
They encourage and challenge, and comfort and cheer, all at once. :)

Carolyn Wilker said...

Similar words to a song I like that was written by Ian White and sung by John Mark. The song is All I Know, and part of one verse bears the same meaning: "A ship that's in the harbour is still and safe from harm, but it was not built to be there, it was made for wind and storm."

I like your stories.

Popular Posts