If our lives are ships, I’ve had a terrible time setting sail.
It’s not for a lack of trying. For me, the aftermath of trying has always left me crippled. I’d set out with bold ambitions, wild eyes, and deaf ears only to find myself soon drifting in troubled waters barely out of reach of the docks. Always, I’d paddle back with a busted ship and wreckage in tow.
My sailing skills were barely tested and found extremely lacking.
An ego can only make so many prodigal returns. Soon, I found myself too timid to venture back out. I willingly stayed close to the safety and predictability of the shore. No more wild ideas. No more outlandish dreams. No more naive relationships. No more risk. And no more reward.
The shore has a way of embracing your anchor.
And so I sat, tied to the docks. Waiting. Buying time. But I couldn’t escape the draw of adventure. I paced the decks wondering what the open sea might be like. My dreams were filled with the thoughts of what it must be like out there. Those watching from the shore may have thought that I was just waiting for the right time to set sail. I’d tinker on the vessel and make a compelling case for tomorrow, next month or even next year. But the truth is, fear had its’ claws sunk deep into my heart.
You’d think that fear would instigate an action within us, but really, it spurs a reaction of paralyzation. Under my feet was a vehicle built for the wildest of seas, but I could never push away from the docks.
I was afraid. I’m still afraid. But no more will I stay tied to the shore.
Today, I’m shoving away.
It’s early in the journey with the shore still in sight from the stern, yet the journey already feels validating despite the already choppy waters. This is where I’m meant to head. There’s life in my heart and risk at the helm. On the horizon is a hurricane of doubt, and the possibility of gut-wrenching failure that will leave me out at sea. But there’s grace in these swirling winds, and hope in these clouds. For the first time in my life, I’m intentionally heading out there.
This is what adventure feels like. This is what it feels like to be alive.
There will come a time for you, if it hasn’t happened already, when you feel the wind of adventure against your neck. Your heart will struggle to keep pace with your breath, and you’ll look onto the horizon and realize for the first time in you life that…
You were meant for out there.
And that thought will scare you to death. With the wind gust of adventure come the torrent crosswinds of doubt and fear. And in your ear, safety will whisper a convenient and convincing tale.
I pray that you will go.
Do not settle. Be bold. And be ever urgent. The best adventures are ahead, if only you’ll bravely steer your ship into the headwinds.