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In sixth grade my parents signed me up for sailing camp. On a sweltering, humid, Virginia summer day, I gathered with the other middle schoolers anxious to get out on the water for our first day of camp. Each of us had been assigned our individual Sunfish sailboats, and the counselors had given us instructions on how to steer and pull in the sail to catch the wind, as well as gone over safety precautions. We put our boats in the water, helped each other rig them, and then our counselors headed upwind in their boats.
I was determined to impress our counselors and get to them first, so I pointed my little sailboat right towards them, hoping the tiny vessel would take off in the wind. Instead, the sail flapped back and forth and my boat was at a standstill, even moving backwards a bit. Frustrated, I pulled in the lines of my sail hoping to gain some control over the boat and make it move faster, but I was still heading backwards towards the shore. Eventually, the wind pushed me sideways and I was able to move again. I followed some fellow campers in their boats and zig zagged back and forth, finally making it to my destination, not first but second-to-last.
Are you holding on tight to the lines of the sails of your life trying to have full control of where you are and where you are going? Are there places you aren’t willing to let go and let the wind of the Holy Spirit guide you? As we begin Lent, are you willing to give up control?