Rough Sailing (A Visualization)

Dear reader, if you’ve been sailing through rough seas and uncharted waters in your life, this visualization is written especially for you. Many blessings upon you!

I have been adrift for days. The voyage seems endless. Yet somewhere deep inside I sense that the best is yet to come. 

However, there are days and days when I wonder why I ever signed up for this one!

I’m alone aboard my little ship nearing its port, but it is night, and there are rocky shoals ahead. I’m in the midst of a tempest and a fierce gale, requiring all the navigation and sailing skills I can muster. I realize there may even be a few new tricks I must learn here and now, since these are seas, currents, and combinations I’ve never before encountered. Even the most seasoned old salt would find himself at a disadvantage here!

I hear my ancient ship creek and groan while the winds howl like banshees. She lifts up out of the boiling brine; then she plunges back in. I’m sure I’ve breathed my last. I bob and toss ad nauseum, barely hanging on within this floating coffin. 

Will this voyage ever end? If so, how will it end? Splintered in pieces and scattered across the craggy cliffs protruding from the shore? Run aground and rent asunder on sifting sands, where glutinous, greedy gulls pick clean my broken bones and body? Years later someone finds them bleached white, protruding from the sand, amidst the sticks and splinters which are all that remain of my trusty vessel…

No, no, no!  Steady, steady, steady as she goes. That’s too far out. Pull it back now. Pull that thought back to the present right now! No mind games! Got all I can do to deal with this reality, the one I never met up with before.

Bone weary, frightened, drenched, shivering, and more exhausted than I have ever been, I search the shore for the familiar twinkle of the lighthouse, so I can at least keep my bearings and a steady course in spite of it all. Yet the sleet and thick darkness make it well nigh impossible to see much of anything further away than my hand in front of my face. I can hear nothing but the screaming winds! 

And just as I lose all hope and sense of direction, there it is – that small glimmer in the distance which signals my last and best hope! It shimmers through sheets of frozen cascading sleet pouring from the sky like waterfalls made of glass shards, stinging and biting as they invade my skin. 

Seeing this Light changes everything! My spirit rises up. I reach into the empty abyss of my insides, and somehow find courage arising there. So, This is what creative Power really looks like! I summon it like Lazarus from the grave, “Come forth!” 

Somehow I find untapped skills and strength I never knew existed, let alone that they could arise from within me, to make it through this passage! Hope ascends with courage. Spirit, courage, hope, strength, skill… They seize my awareness. And then… 

Somehow I know that I will soon be safe, dry, warm, and at peace… There can be no other options. My mission must be completed, not lost at sea!

Is it my imagination, or has the storm just now abated just a little?

At the point of sensing the greatest urgency, pathetically overwhelmed and helpless, I notice that someone is here beside me. It seems odd, but I don’t feel any fear about that or anything else anymore. I hear him reassuringly saying, “Peace, be still. I’ve got the helm from here!”

I notice a shift in the winds. The Lighthouse is not far away now. Just before I collapse into an unconscious heap of unknowing, I become aware of a pre-dawn light replacing the ominous sky. I’m now awash amidst a myriad of dazzling dizzying stars, replacing the determined deadly drenching, as wind and wave cease their raging roar.

Suddenly I’m aware of… nothing.

Then I awaken. I find myself safe in bed – dry, warm, and at peace. I extend my arms in front of me for inspection. I lift up the blankets and do a reality check inventory of my entire body, stem to stern. Everything seems to be in working order.  For all I have been through, there’s not a scratch or a bruise on me! 

The morning Sun pours its radiance through the window, and I smile as I hear the gulls not far away chanting their soothing, soaring songs overhead. I sit up to look out the window, and there at the end of the dock my seaworthy old ship is safely moored. She may need a little tender loving care, but she’s as good as ever!

I recollect the events of the past night. Who was the stranger that spoke to me and calmed the turbulence of both the inner and outer seas? I feel I’ve known him for a very long time.

He must have brought me home. I must look him up and thank him!

I feel an unusual calm, yet it seems to dance in quiet choreography with an oddly gentle anticipation, exhilaration, and enthusiasm. I sink into the pillow and curl up within the cloud of soft, warm blankets to explore these feelings. 

However, I still think I’m going to have a nap. At least for now.

I close my eyes. As I dream I see the stranger’s kind, loving eyes peering into mine. I recognize the experience. He was aboard my ship! He brought me home! 

These eyes explore my soul, but with no condemnation. They only bring peace, a complete peace, beyond all finite human comprehension or imagination. 

As those eyes pierce into my soul with the Light of unconditional Love, I know that all is well, and it always will be so. I know he will never leave me or forsake me, so I can always smile at the world. And I need not go anywhere else to find him.

Within his gaze, I understand that from now on there will always be fair winds and smooth sailing.

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39.

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