Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Setting Sail

(You'll notice by the date that this was started a month ago. I suppose I saved it as a draft and forgot about it.)

My vacation turned into more of a bust than anticipated. The last five days were simply terrible because I was sick with some kind of cold or allergy. Tuesday I felt better than I had since I took off work nearly ten days before.

I had a bad time with this vacation. The first five days I could not get myself directed. I sat in this house and became more and more depressed until finally I had to get out. I went to the fabric store and bought patterns, fabric, and thread. I came home and managed to get two days of sewing before I practically collapsed with this cold. From Friday until Tuesday, I was more or less immobile. I couldn't breath. I sneezed and my nose ran. I wiped it so much it became raw. And my emotions became as raw as my nose. I cried for no reason and for every reason for days and nights.

I want to say I can't remember feeling so dark in spirit but that wouldn't be true. The last two and half years have been filled with days of such darkness that I don't want to remember. Keeping the blog has been a good thing in this respect. I have been able to go back in time in a way I would not have been able to had I not written it down. I don't go back often. There are some experiences you simply do not want to relive. But now and then, for some reason I find myself looking at entries from those darkest days. These last days have been very dark. I almost looked forward to going back to work.

The analogy has been with me for some time now of drifting on a huge ocean. In one post I mention islands of happiness in a sea of misery. It still holds true, at least for me.

Wednesday morning I was reading the daily devotional that is always near my chair but which I forget at times. I can't remember what I read at the moment but I remember the feeling that nothing makes sense to me anymore. I feel as if I'm adrift on a great sea and I have no idea which direction to steer. My ship, Life, seems to have come to a halt and the sails I set hang limply from the mast. The sea is glass. And as far as I can see, there is no land.

When you are drifting in the doldrums you have little to do except twiddle your thumbs. Blowing the sails will do you no good and only make you dizzy. You need a stiff breeze fill them up and push your bark forward. So, one searches for help in strange places. I went back to study the charts. In this case, my blogs.

Despite what you may think, I still believe that God is always in control. When the storm blows me off track, it is because there is some place I needed to go and my sails were set in another direction. We're creatures of habit and stubborn. Sometimes the only way we'll change our course is to be blown out of it. I believe I've been blown way off course. I've been struggling to chart a new one.

When one is far at sea there are no landmarks, no light houses. The ocean is a shifting landscape of waves and whitecaps, clouds and sky. When far from land, ancient mariners plotted by the stars. There were times, though, when there was no star to steer by, when the heavens were cloaked in darkness and the winds died and the ship was becalmed. And yet, even during the darkest of nights, when clouds hung heavy and there was no wind, the seamen knew that beyond the darkness, somewhere above, the North Star still hung steadfast in the heavens. They had only to wait for the return of the winds to sweep the heavens clear, look up, get their bearings, and sail on.

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