Change is in the air ... it's in the wind.
It was over ten years ago when Dick pulled me aside. "Hey, Ron, have you ever done any sailing?"
"A little, years ago ... but the wind wasn't cooperative," I replied.
"Well, we are putting together a sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands this summer. Would you and Lyn be interested in going with us? We plan to rent a Catamaran and Captain it ourselves. We've done this for years with our kids, but this time we want to take adults. Talk to Lyn and let me know."
Lyn and I said "YES" before we left the parking lot.
We barely knew the two other couples Dick had invited, so this was certainly shaping up to be an adventure into the unknown.
On the boat Dick was a mystery. He didn't fit my preconceived image of a pilot. He was humble and patient and gentle. And, he understood the wind and knew exactly what we had to do to get to where we wanted to go.
Once we got out of the harbor he pointed to the horizon, "Do you see the wind? Just off the port bow. See it?"
He anticipated the changes and understood them. He knew when to tack, when to let out the Jib, when to reef the mainsail, when to adjust and tweak, and when to let out and billow. As I watched and listened, he taught me how to find the wind, how to get the most from it, and how to enjoy every minute of the trip (even the danger parts).
I learned how to set a point and sail to it, regardless of the direction of the wind. Even when the wind was in our face, we still reached our destination (it just took a little longer). I learned to watch for dangers, for coral heads just below the surface, for rocks and reefs and lobster traps.
In the world of sailing one thing is certain: the wind will change. So we got new skills. When the wind changed, sails had to be adjusted. The sails made the difference. Sometimes we set for a broad-reach, at times beam-reach or close-reach, and a few times we ran wing to wing. Our GPS helped us keep eyes trained on our track to the point, while our senses grew fine-tuned to the winds of change.
There is a faith principle here: The winds of change are all around us. Sometimes they bring disaster, sometimes a cooling and refreshing breeze. The challenge of the moment is not just to stay alive, or enjoy periods of calm and comfort. The challenge is to do whatever is necessary to stay on coarse.
The Apostle Paul told King Agrippa, "I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do"(Acts 26:20 NLT).
Is it your time to adjust the sails, to make the change work for you and not against you ... to prove your faith?
"Regarding Henry," the movie, came out two decades ago, but the message of the film is timeless. It is the story of major change and transformation. Harrison Ford, plays the part of Henry — the central character in the film.
Henry is a jerk; he is a shady, cut-throat, dishonest, and unfaithful attorney who is seriously injured in a robbery attempt. The incident leaves him with amnesia. He is a blank-slate. So, with the help of bewildered friends he starts over, from the beginning.
This time he becomes a different man. He embraces different values, makes different choices and upgrades to Henry 2.0.
When they meet, he gives them the evidence they need to win the case against his former firm.
The wife is shocked and puzzled. As Henry is about to leave, she asks, "I don't get it. What changed?"
Henry looks at her and replies, "I did."
Change isn't the problem, it's the answer!
Faith changes whatever needs to be changed; it faces winds from all directions. Faith proves itself by what it does, not by what it says.
Quit complaining about the changes and set your sail. Prove you have faith. Make it so.
And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him (2 Corinthians 3:17-18 MSG).