2020-09-23 - Ships
It was just before summer officially arrived, in my Sophomore year of High School, that my Mom and Stepdad were off to spend a couple weeks at the beach. We lived less than half an hour away, so my envy of missing the first week was abated by them planning to return to town for me the following weekend, to allow me to join them for the second week. They rented a modest cottage that was nearly larger than their off-base housing space. While we were going out occasionally for fresh local fare, most meals were prepared in the "home away from home," a skip and a hop from the salty sea. My favorite part of the time away was sitting with Mom, watching the local shrimp trawlers out on the horizon, with us basking on the shore. There was something calming about the sand, salty smell of the ocean, squawks and hoots of the gulls flying above the shoreline as well as watching them make passes by the trawlers, looking for appetizers and entrees nearly served up to them in the ship’s lassoing agents. Many years later, I thought about that week and time together, remembering her words, “Your ship will come in, Debbie.” She told me that somewhere between my wedding and her dying five years later. After I was married, I continued to look for work that tapped into my creative side, while still working full-time in retail. Since it did not seem to be the right timing, I just let go of it, and then we began to start a family, which needed my undivided attention, anyway. There was a little piece of my mid-twenties self that felt as though my ship was being carried further and further out to sea, with little chance of return.
While I am certain my Mom knew I would incorporate creativity into every part of my life-as was my style-I truly believe she also meant that I would be given something more-a personally overwhelming joy from the gift she saw in me, over many years. Like a trawler that makes its way across the waters, filling its bows with shrimp until it is time to head to shore with its catch, these things take time and discipline (Proverbs 12:1, NIV) The discipline prepares us for managing our harvest more responsibly along the way. We live in a world that is driven by immediate action and response to action, which can set people up for disappointment as well as having them lose sight of any progress they have achieved-as if it is unimportant without tangible successes. If we fully rely on God, as I personally chose, we learn making his truth known comes through a balance of serving via his instructions, along with honoring his wishes for us to be civically minded (Matthew 22:21). Progress is discovered to be measured by a deep love of mankind (forgiveness of John 3:16) walked out in everyday living, and that has little to do with how we earn wages. How we treat one another, and the long-term destination, are what drives a person of faith.. So with that in mind, someone of faith should never say “my ship will not come in,.” but rather “How may I best prepare so my ship will come in?” Do not let what you do not see happening just yet distract you from what has already happened and what can happen before long. Because “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Matthew 19:26 KJV) Your ship, and mine, will come in exactly as planned (1 Corinthians 9:24 & 2 Timothy 1:17).
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.