A ship in harbour is safe

October 2, 2019 · Print This Article

But that is not what ships are built for!

As anyone who makes a living from the sea will tell you, it can be both friend or foe. While ships need harbours, they are built to be out on the sea carrying passengers and cargo to a destination.

Travelling on a calm and pleasant day is an enjoyable and relaxing experience for most people. But travelling through a storm is neither pleasant nor relaxing. In most cases, ships are built to withstand and ride out the storms, but occasionally things go wrong and they can end up sinking or being shipwrecked.

There is a life lesson here.

Are we trying to remain safe in our harbour, avoiding the risks in life? Sometimes we shrink from the challenges that life throws at us. We try to live a safe life and avoid the storms that can come in our personal, work, or social life. But there’s a cost to this cautious approach.

Leaving the harbour means taking risks on what the sea might throw at us – on whether it will be calm or stormy. In the same way leaving our personal safe harbour means facing the risks of life. We can’t always see the way ahead and if sometimes we think we can then the unexpected may soon throw us off course. But there’s much to be gained from this risk.

Of course, we will try to reduce the risks as much as possible but stepping out demands that we prepare to take them, too. Stepping out – leaving the harbor – might be as simple as asking someone out on a date, not knowing whether the person will say yes or no; it could be going for that promotion at work you don’t think you are ready for, biting off more than you can chew, then chewing like mad!

In Christian terms, it is called stepping out in faith. I believe we, like ships, have been designed to take risks and battle through the storms of life. Yes, I know, it’s tough if a relationship goes wrong, it’s tough if we fail in our jobs, it’s tough if we feel frustrated, undervalued and not able to use our gifts and skills because of a setback! But that’s life! The important thing is not to give up.

The thing about taking sensible risks is that life becomes fuller, more fun, more challenging, and more satisfying. Indeed, you may be surprised at what you achieve or could discover.

In times past, when the UK was a more religious nation, being a Christian was a safe and socially acceptable choice to make. But this has changed as the UK becomes a more secular nation; Christianity is regarded with greater contempt. Yet, I find it curious that some will still leave their safe harbour for the seas of faith and possible storms that come with this journey. For some people in other countries with less freedom than we enjoy, taking this step of faith means risking their life. I used to wonder why some would do this until I took this step of faith myself.

What about you? Have you ever considered what Christianity is all about? Have you ever thought why some die for their faith rather than renounce their Christian beliefs? Why not take the risk of finding out just what Christianity is all about?

Keith Hartrick.

[Keith is a retired Managing Director and the church leader of our Leeds congregation, Grace Communion International. He is editor of Richard’s blogs.]

[Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs on Unsplash]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

Comments are closed.