I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it— but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
This quote caught my eye this morning and had me pondering the truth within it. I think Mr. Holmes was on to something here. My husband does not like the word ignorant. He says people use it wrongly. And we do. We use it to put down another, but really, it's just not knowing. It all depends on what side of the road your standing on and which way your facing. As he has traveled all over the United States driving, he knows things which are I am ignorant to. Just as with going to Cosmetology school, he would be ignorant to the things I have learned. Meaning we each have knowledge about something that another does not have. That's why I love sharing. When we share we grow so much more. When we open our hearts up to what others can teach us is when we really grasp the understanding of wisdom. Wisdom is not just having a lot to say. We can rattle off spouting words, but it's what is in those words that have meaning. Just because we have a lot to say sure doesn't make us wise. The words of a fool are many.
From where we stand we can either bring others closer to Christ or further away. It is in our actions, how we treat others, how we receive others, and in our speech. How we talk to others, and how well we really listen says much about who we are. It's stopping in your tracks for more than a minute of your time to really listen to another, I mean really listen that brings understanding. Many times it is more of what is not being said that carries more meaning. We cannot just listen with our ears, but may we listen with our hearts as others are sharing and reaching. We can reach for the stars together. In reaching upward, we are moving in the right direction.
When I was little, a friend and I would always walk along the Mississippi River. It was close to our house. We would find many things along the way, and a few times we got caught up in some mud. That dirty Mississippi water doesn't let you see your feet so well or what is in front of you. There were times we just had to not panic, move slowly, and get as close to the shore as we could. See, it wasn't the fact we were in the river, but the fact that we got out too far. We were going the wrong direction. And in doing so we got caught up in the mud that was trying to drag us down.
We can stand tall on an issue, but if we don't move forward in all possible ways to fight for that issue, does standing on it really have much meaning? No, it doesn't. For us to stand tall on an issue means to give our time for the cause of what we believe in. If we are not active in that issue we so strongly stand for, we are not helping to gain ground for what is important.
It's one thing to say, "I believe", but another to actively live it.
In today's world what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right. There are times we will have to stand for what is right, when all others around us will be looking to see what we are doing.Sometimes one is just waiting for another to stand out so they too can join them. It's taking that first step that is hard. There will be times when we are standing for something and we will look to see no one standing beside us. We must not grow weary in that fact, but take heart, knowing if God lead us to this point He is going to see us through.
To have a voice, means to not just shout, but to speak of importance. We can whisper wisdom and others will hear that much clearer when spoken in love than if we are shouting in anger. It's not always so much in what we are saying as how we say it. We can speak with encouraging words, lifting others up, instead of using language to bring another down. In that, both sides lose.
I love how Mr. Holmes says, "Sometimes we must sail with the wind, and sometimes against it-but we must sail, not drift or lie anchor." We can't just go with the flow all the time. Ever try to walk against the current of people in a busy mall or building? It's not easy. Sometimes you get knocked off balance, sometimes you have to push your way through, but you keep going, you keep moving in the direction you are lead to go in. We can't just lie down and expect others to speak for us. To have a voice we must use it and use it wisely. We can't just speak when we have something to say. May we speak when we have something of value to share.
To have heaven in our sights, we must go against what this world stands for. We must stay focused on Christ and His word. We can't say we believe in Christ and follow ourselves. It is when we follow ourselves that we get lost. That narrow path is what will lead us to the port hole of heaven. That wide path will lead us into a hole of destruction.
We can stand in our past, letting it consume us, or we can chose to step forward, allowing forgiveness to wash us. We can stand in regret and loss, being consumed in pity, or we can move forward, letting go of yesterday and having hope in tomorrow. It's when we step out of our comfort zone that we will find that direction of completeness. We can't just drop anchor in sin and stay there. The longer we are there, the more dangerous the rip tide. It will drag us out in the depths of despair before we know we are there.
Simple is not always easiest. Sometimes the complex brings the most blessings as we travel through trials and struggles. It is through those battered times that we find real strength and a peace to carry us through tomorrow.
One voice is all it takes to change a world. One person to stand and make a difference is all it takes to change a life. Jesus Christ cut the mold for us to follow in. Our Savior stepped out, not only made a difference, but a way. A way for us. Don't let those winds get you down or let the waves wash you a ground. Set sail today knowing who is at the wheel, steering you through those rising waves. Cast those sails, draw in that anchor and have the ride of your life with Christ lifting you and setting you on a course for greatness. After all, isn't that what we were created for?