Your Ship on the Ocean of Life



Imagine yourself as a sailboat on the ocean of life.  You’re on a journey to the end of the ocean and you have to plot your course as best you can.  You don’t have to arrive at any particular point on that far shore unless you choose to, in which case, you’d better navigate and sail pretty well.  Even if your destination isn’t clear to you, you want, at least, to complete the journey without serious mishap.

Now, imagine the wind and the waves and the ocean currents as the things that happen to you—ideas, events, people, work, religion, money—the forces that power, motivate and sometimes impede your progress.  The sails are your emotions, allowing you to harness the forces around you and move your vessel over the ocean.  They must be managed, adjusted to accommodate the wind and sea as they bear upon your hull.  Too tight and you may pinch and lose headway, perhaps even capsize and drown.  Too loose and your sails flap uselessly, you drift before the wind, perhaps onto the rocks lurking just over the horizon.

Your rational mind is the helmsman who steers, trims the sails, watches the weather, checks the heading.  You also are the owner, the captain and crew and must determine the course, decide how to sail and maintain the vessel and its equipment in order to sail safely and well.  In fair weather the vessel sails handily, with a moderate breeze and all sails set.  Progress is made, watch on, watch off.

When a storm hits you must spill wind, reef your sails and proceed cautiously.  If it blows too hard you must heave to, face the storm and lie head-to, under bare poles with a drogue if necessary, until the winds subside.  In this fashion you can minimize drift, damage and disorientation.  Above all, never take a heavy sea on the beam and always avoid the lee shore.  Bon voyage, Captain!



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