Many a sailor has been storm-tossed on a windy night in the midst of unfamiliar seas. Brave seafarers know that they must press forward. “Sail on! Sail on! Sail on and on!” they call to their crew. And so must we. When we are tossed and turned by life’s currents, we move forward, we carry on. Difficult though it may be, we set our sail and find our way.
American scholar Oliver Wendell Holmes wisely observed: “I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving … We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it,—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
The well-known saying is true: A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for. And neither are we. We are designed to learn and grow—in wisdom and in experience. We are created to sail—sometimes in calm and smooth waters but often through rough storms.
In physics we learn of inertia, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its state of motion or rest. We may feel the same tendency when we have suffered setbacks and experienced heartaches. We may feel defeated. We may want to stop trying in an attempt to protect ourselves from future failures. But by challenging such thoughts and not surrendering to the forces of inertia, we discover new strength. We keep sailing, and we become better at it. We refuse to stagnate, and somehow we find ourselves moving forward.
Yes, mistakes, setbacks, and even disasters happen. But the only way to find growth and happiness is not to give up but to move forward—and keep sailing.
- from "Music and the Spoken Word"
July 31, 2011 Broadcast Number 4272
For more inspiration on sailing, see also: