But first, the backdrop… (When I draw a picture, my skills are such that it’s necessary for me to label my picture: top…bottom…tree…dog…etc. I think the element of labeling might be necessary in my writing as well. I’m never sure how clear my thoughts are. After all, as the writer, I’m accustomed to…and blissfully unaware of…the fog in my mind. But in case you move about in a world of lucidity, perhaps I should turn on some fog lights for your benefit!)
Before writing this poem, my mind had been drifting over the waves of disparity I see between how we ought to live and how we tend to live. Or, to keep in context with the poem, how we sail and how we ought to sail. Then, after writing the poem, I thought about all the ships I’ve boarded over the years: friendship, ownership, membership, leadership, discipleship, lordship. I’ve been on a lot of ships! But, unfortunately, I realized that once a vessel was boarded I sometimes became its cargo rather than allowing it to become my transport. I let the name of the freighter identify me rather than letting my actions carry me; I traded the shape for the substance. Is it possible to know friendship and not be a friend? Is it possible to be an owner and not manage? Is it possible to be in discipleship and not disciple? Well…is it possible to be on a boat and not be a sailor? Yes, yes, yes and…yes! So, here’s to a new year of sailing, and resailing, our oceans thin. I hope to see you at the dock where you’ll board this vessel of determination with me. May we sail the seas together as we inch our way closer, and deeper, to those heavenly shores…where our final ship awaits us. Her name? Worship!
Miles wide, yet inches deep,
In oceans thin our thoughts we keep.
For those whose eyes search far and wide,
Care not for things that waters hide.
With boats that skim the glassy tide,
All thoughts lie strictly on the ride.
For if one’s journey takes him far,
What lies below, his thoughts won’t mar.
Sailors who ride upon the seas,
And keep their eyes on things that please,
May cover many miles each year,
But never know the treasures near.
For if one were to look below,
He’d have to stop, he’d have to row.
He’d have to change his point of view,
As inches delved make miles few.
His log book too would show a change,
As depths were charted more than range.
For treasures drawn and brought to light,
Now give him more than stats to write.
We all are sailors on this sea,
We all have sights we long to see.
But as we chart our course, we know,
It’s not how far but deep we go.
For while our eyes may look above,
Our hearts were meant to look with love,
At things that waters dare to cover,
Concealing lives from one another.
We sail above, but dwell below,
And know too well still waters flow.
We travel fast but little see,
Instead of keys, it’s oars we need.
So as we set our New Year’s sail,
Let’s search for that which waters veil.
Instead of miles, let’s inches go;
Instead of riding, let us row.