I love roads, how they wind and shift yet keep you on course. I love images like these…
…how roads seem to stretch on forever. There’s something striking about their dichotomy: they’re at once mortally concrete, yet heavenly infinite.
I’ve always loved the analogy that God has us on a path—that He leads us down the “straight and narrow.” That He’s paved a way for us to follow.
But then I heard a new Hillsong song called “Captain.” It portrays God as the captain of our lives and our lives as voyages across an ocean. It says,
Like the wind, You’ll guide.
Clear the skies before me,
and I’ll glide this open sea.
Like the stars, Your Word
will align my voyage.
And remind me where I’ve been
and where I am going.
It’s that third line that gets me: “and I’ll glide this open sea.”
It’s one thing to follow a path God’s set for you. It’s another to follow Him blindly into nothingness. I feel steady as I see the boundaries of a path on either side of me and as I look ahead to gauge how far I’m walking, how hilly the road may be, how many turns I may take. But sailing on an ocean is a different thing altogether. I can’t forecast the ever-changing waves. There are no boundaries holding me in, nothing keeping me from drifting. And I can’t see exactly where I’m headed.
But then I stand here on the beach at the Gulf and stare at the real ocean. And maybe I feel small here more than I do anywhere else—more than in the mountains or in deserts or in crowded cities. The sea is at once captivating and terrifying. Mountains are glorious, but the ocean is fearsome. There’s even power in the fact that it’s singular—one universal “sea.”
And I look out at that thin, straight-as-a-board line of a horizon, and I smell that saltiness, and I think This is what I’m meant to sail. Yes, God’s called me to seasons of climbing mountains and facing challenges. But He calls me to glide blindly out here in the open every day of my life.
Micah 7:18-20 says,
Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain His anger forever,
because He delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
You will show faithfulness to Jacob
and steadfast love to Abraham,
as You have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old.
Because He casts all our sins into the depths of the sea, we are truly free. We are not sailing with anchors dragging or winds against us. We are gliding light-as-a-feather above our sin, which sinks to the depths underneath.
It’s strange how at once I can feel God showing me my utter wickedness and an open, promising sea before me. But each time I see my ugliness and my downfalls and my darkness, He shoves them far below and whispers I paid for these. Keep sailing.
And on the calm, dark nights out on that ocean when my sins don’t feel so deep beneath the surface, the stars dimly blink and bring me back. I look behind and see the ones that led me here and look ahead to stars leading I know not where. And when I look down to see my ugly sins floating on the water beneath me, all I see is the reflection of those lights in a glassy, still sea—lights that outshine evil and remind me He is faithful and urgently repeat Keep going.