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Who guides you?

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"I am your Mainsail and Stay," the Lord said to me one recent early morning. The Holy Spirit's words were clear to me. But, was I hearing correctly? "Guided By Me" is the short, encouraging message I received.

I don't remember reading "mainsail" and "stay" in the bible relating to Jesus. The only time I ever used those words myself was when I first began to learn about sailing. The memory of those days, some fifty years ago, began to come back to me slowly.

I remember stepping gingerly for the first time into the Catalina sailboat we had just purchased for the family's recreation. Not knowing anything about sailing, we were relying on our eldest daughter's friend to "show us the ropes". And there were lots of "ropes" besides the rigging, to learn about, beginning with nautical terms. The words indicating direction, "fore" and "aft", "stern" and "bow", "starboard" and "port", "leeward" and "windward" are just a few of the terms. After so many years, I had to go back to the instruction book, Sailing For Beginners, by Moulton Farnham to recall what they meant!

Two sailboats in San Fancisco's Golden Gate

But, especially, what about "Mainsail" and "Stay", the parts of the sailboat the Holy Spirit used to point to Jesus? I remembered sitting in the cockpit, sails hoisted and in the right position to fill them with the prevailing wind. There's nothing more exhilarating than the wind filling the sails, billowing them and moving the boat oh so quietly over ocean waves, truly a time we know as "smooth sailing"!

So it is with Jesus in our lives. It's like a cooperative venture. Stay wires are attached, fore-and-aft to the mast to give it support. We control the tiller that places the sails in just the right position to "catch the wind" of the Spirit, as He fills our Mainsail, while we rely on Jesus as our strength to lead us into the direction He has set out for us to take.

Releasing the driving force into His hands means we no longer struggle to control our lives, but allow God to rule and direct, bringing us with others to "sail" into the Kingdom of God, effortlessly and with the joy that comes from following His lead!

Let us forever remember and trust in the Lord who is truly our Mainsail and Stay.

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