Windless Sails

From the Archives, Luffing Sails. This document is a reprised post from long ago, edited, reworked, and re-presented here.


Down dropt the breeze
the sails dropt down
‘Twas sad as sad could be; /
And we did speak only to break /
The silence of the sea! …Day after day, day after day /
We stuck, nor breath nor motion /
As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean.
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
-Coleridge


Down dropt the breeze

There are times when my sails begin luffing as I lose the wind. It happens to the best sailors, and I’m certainly not that. I’m speaking figuratively, and I’m speaking of writing one more blog post while a blank page stares back at me with the challenge of a blinking cursor that says, “no words! No wind.”

Sometimes the thoughts, ideas, text flood into my mind so fast that the sails of the old schooner billow, filled with wind, threaten to capsize the whole vessel. At such time it’s all I can do to quickly reel in and capture notes of the swirling ideas for further development in the future.

But at times of the cursed blinking cursor, no stored words or notes apply. No words. No pictures. No ideas. No sketches. Nothing. Not a ripple. Not even a cat’s paw upon the surface of a glassy sea. I sit at my desk, eyes half-closed looking at that computer screen. Vacant. Empty. Blank. Staring.

And. So! In the vast, barren, desolation of nothingness, a big “SO WHAT – I DON’T CARE!” out of nowhere comes flooding in to fill the void.

[That demon apathy floods the bilges and tries to sink, weigh down, or otherwise make the helm unresponsive to any set course of headway. What to do? “Who cares?” “What does it matter anyway?” Apathy! “I don’t write for profit.” Apathy. “My existence does not depend on being a scrivener of words on a page, screen, abandoned building walls, nor the temptation of a silky sandy beach in a tropical sun. My life is not dependent on words.” Apathy. Challenging. It taunts its desire to have me. To take over entirely by causing me to mount a mutiny against — myself.]

“BUT (I say) I need words to organize and describe the illustrative snapshots. The parts and parcels. The yet-to-be-organized pictures, murals, illuminative designs I have in my mind that I want to communicate to – well — to whomever.” I begin a defensive counter-attack. “Jehovah Nissi – the Lord is my banner! It is under Him that I serve. I am not writing for my ideas, financial gain, fame, or fortune. I’m writing to make Him known, magnifying – to glorify – my Savior — from my perspective, sure. But who’s perspective do I know – do I have the experience of – other than my own? And what person who tap-tap-taps can say any more? For better or worse, who can describe more?”

[Apathy is now unsure of its position. It begins to vacate the bilges. It’s backing away, uncertain of its footing, with wide-eyed concern. The mutiny is weakening. Its desire to have me is lessening. It is draining back into the wide-open seas. The battle belongs to the LORD! It is His to have the Victory, once again! Trust and obey. Trust and follow! A good thing to remember.]

A good thing to remember is whether the sails are windless, and the vessel becalmed, or the seas are thrashing under heavy weather with sails ripping and timbers creaking. Trust and obey the Captain, under Whose banner we serve.

And so! Onward to the next “battle of the ages” called life, in this age of the earth called ‘Today.’

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.”   

Hebrews 3: 15

“And this entire assembly may know that the Lord does not save with the sword or the spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will hand you (apathy, or whatever situation) over to us.” 1 Samuel 17:47

Someday this war will end. When it’s over, it will be over. Until then, I keep putting one foot in front of the next. Never give up, never retreat!  

~G.W.

*******************************************


12 thoughts on “Windless Sails”

  1. If I were reading this on paper, I would have highlighted it all. You have surely and beautifully captured things so well. Also, I’m sure your words will bring strength to many, but I was especially strengthened by them. The verse from Heb. 3:15! 😭 I’ve been hardening my heart for a while now. Or at least, making excuses for not listening. Thank you for posting this, GW, and for speaking to my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kendra. I’m grateful this struck a chord with you. It always amazes me how the Savior weaves His purposes together in such harmony. You will do well, “for I know in Whom I have believed.” God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You set up and describe the conflict as well as when we are conflicted. I so relate GW.
    I have an advantage as my boat and the lake seem ready to take a few casts, catching or not. Fishing is always good. Catching is quite a haphazard rebel sometimes, as catching and netting seem to be with new thoughts and insights seem to be. I do have some fish in the freezer for a weary soul though. Wish you were closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words and comment. Yes, the sorrow of today is our Calvary. But the Lord’s promise to us of this war ending in His/our victory is sure. Thank you and God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I recognise the struggles of a poor scribe seeking His guidance every day in your post. How much we depend on Him each day, seeking His Spirit to fill our sails and drive us forward in service. We surrender our meagre words before Him knowing He can use them to His Glory, Hallelujah!
    God bless you today brother 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, brother Alan. I read an Eventide devotional by Spurgeon. In it he said the closer we get to our personal sunset the fiercer the Evil one attacks. For it is at sunset the enemy mount their strongest attacks personally. I find that true to a certain extent. He knows the thorn in my flesh, and he is deftly able to cause it to enflame. However, that only serves to draw me nearer the Lord and trust Him more.
      May God bless you today also, brother — and vey richly! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Isn’t it wonderful to have a treasure chest of archives that can be visited, with a gem to pull out, repolish and share again. You’ve touched on a terrible enemy that is little spoken of- apathy. It is an enemy that taunts me when I’m overwhelmed by all the evil in this world and when I’m feeling battle worn wondering if my little light is making any difference. I feel it lurking more in this last year then ever before. As I study the Bible, I’ve come to wonder if it is a lure that sets a heart to be hardened (Heb 3:15) or one of the many tentacles the enemy uses to ensnare and “turn a person away from the faith” (Matthew 24:13) or is it the blindfold that sets us up to be the prey for the roaring lion that is prowling around looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:9). As I’ve faced apathy, I’ve found great comfort and strength in the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 24: 13, “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Oh how grateful I am that Jesus is our firm foundation. So, Thank you GW for this reprisal. Reading it has been of great encouragement to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth. Yes, apathy is a great sneakthief. It creeps in like the evening fog from the sea — silently, stealthily. But in all cases invisibly, robbing us of all we hold cherished. You captured well the many ways it can damage and destroy if not addressed upon recognition. Thank you for adding so much more to what was said in the post. And yes, Jesus our solid Rock, our Savior from ourselves. Thank you for so much in your comment, Beth!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘I’m writing to make Him known, magnifying – to glorify – my Savior’ GW, You have truly spoken from a bloggers heart, revealing the push me-pull me battle when it’s time to write/share. But as you say, If we will remember that we serve under the great banner of Jesus and relinquish the wheel to the Holy Spirit, our vessel captain…He will download the words that Magnify and Glorify God…and keep the curser moving until God says done! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tam. So true. It’s Jesus all the way by way of the Holy Spirit moving things along. It also helps to have a plan with an outline; and a Vines with a Thesaurus sitting on the shelf.

      Liked by 1 person

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