of sails & leaves

I read two analogies this week in Richard Foster’s book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, and they have really pierced my heart.

The first is of a sail on a boat. The sail must be pliable in order for the boat to move and take advantage of the wind. If it were not a flexible sail, but a piece of wood, the boat would not move. So often my heart is a board. I long for the wind to blow on me, but I just want the refreshment of the wind. I don’t want the wind to actually move me. But, after a while, there is the realization that there has to be more to life than just sitting and feeling the wind. There needs to be an “unguarded accessibility” in order for us to grow and to move. In order to become free. The picture of freedom is not just sitting and feeling the breeze, but flowing freely across an ocean with the wind.

The second analogy was of a tree in the Fall; moving into the winter. Foster explains that as the leaves drop, one by one, the irregularities and defects of the tree are exposed. It’s not as if these are new. They have been there all along, just well hidden behind the leaves. But the leaves must fall; winter must come to the tree – it strengthens and preserves the tree. “A tougher, more resilient life is established” and the roots are forced deeper.

I am thankful that the leaves drop one by one. Big winds may come through and push the sails or push the leaves down quickly, but more often it is a steady pace of change and movement.

“He will no break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick” ~ Matthew 12:20

I am moving:
into a place where I can love others without demands
into a place where I am “unguarded” and “accessible”
into a place where I am unafraid to let my bruised, battered, knotted branches show
into a place where I am releasing my sails into His desires
into a place where I am FREE in Him.

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