I know a man who was a captain of a commercial liner. In his living room was a painting (on black velvet) of a grizzled but handsome sea captain holding the wheel of a ship in a storm. Over his shoulder was Jesus, pointing the way through the storm. More than once my friend pointed to the painting and said, “You will never know just how true that is.”
He’s right of course, I will never pilot a ship through a storm, but I have come to rely frequently on Jesus Christ to point the way through many hardships. I have found that the most challenging thing is not having faith enough to trust that Jesus is there, but convincing others of this truth too. I have grown accustom to being thought of as a fool. The skill of the captain is not found in force of argument but in surrender to God. We cannot change the storm; we can only make our way through it, taking advantage of the ebb and flow, and changing tides.
The mighty ship known as St. Paul’s Church, Charlottetown has weathered storms. And through our most recent storm we have had the good fortune of having people willing to come-along-side. The Diocese has been of significant assistance by helping us form a plan to pull ourselves up from under considerable debt. The Parish Council made plans for accomplishing the goals and expectations we set for ourselves. The members of St. Paul’s did not abandon ship, but supported us morally, prayerfully and financially.
Now that the tide has turned and Jesus has pointed the way, not only for me, but for all of us, we can move forward, confident that we will weather whatever storms come our way. I am so very thankful for being a part of a congregation that might think I’m a fool, but only in the most kindhearted way. And now, together we can confidently invite others to “get on board.”