Ships on the Sea of Life

The Sea of Life

I’m teaching about ships this week and guiding students in drawing them. Therefore, my mind is own ships and sailing.

Just as sailors never know exactly what they will encounter when they set out on the ocean, we don’t know what we will encounter in our lives here on earth.

Sail On

When the winds are right, the sailing is smooth.

If a ship’s captain did not have a destination in mind, make decisions in moments of clarity and know how to interpret the elements or know how to use his/her navigational equipment, the outcome could be devastating.

Your Ship, Your Life

Once ships depended upon the wind for travel.

Ships depended on the winds and currents for sailing.

External Forces

Forces are things outside us like storms at sea.

As you sail on your journey there are environmental forces all around you, winds, waves, currents, sharks, whales, pirates, gales, hurricanes, rain, heat, and cold. You get the picture. These forces are outside of you. They are beyond your control. They will hit your ship at times.


You can’t do anything about the external environment around your ship. You can’t control the wind, the storms, the currents or the waves, but you can lay in your course,  and you can hold true to your map and navigational instruments.
That part of your journey IS in your control. It’s the effort guided by intuitive inspiration. Remember, inspiration comes from the Latin word “inspirare” which means, breathed into.
Efforts are the things that are under your control. For example, on your boat, effort is how taut you hold the sail, whether you come about, or which side of the boat the sail is going to be on as you navigate the winds.

How we hold our rudders and stay our course is due to effort.

It’s up to you to hold the rudder a certain way so that both the currents and the winds affect your journey. It’s up to you to be attuned to the elements of the sea, signs and subtle changes.
 A good sailor knows how to optimize the direction of the wind, the flow of the currents and the aspects of his/her boat and put these things together in a way that takes him or her where they want to go.
Favorable winds are God’s grace, and they can propel us forward if we are sensitive to them and their timing.
You can live your life divinely guided, inspired and with purpose.

Set the Destination with Clarity

What do I mean when I say purpose?


I mean living a life that propels you to becoming the highest version of yourself, a life that fills you with inner peace, contentment, and joy, that allows you to use your unique skills, talents, vision, and voice to impact the world around you in a positive way. For each person this will be different.


You have to decide what kind of person you want to be. What do you want your life to be about? Your guidance system? When you set your course, do it in moments of clarity. When there is confusion and turmoil, don’t lay in a course.

Old time sailors used to set their courses by the stars. If you don’t have a guiding star, a pole star, you will not be able to keep your course. You will be blown off every time the wind changes directions.



In life, it’s the same way. If you have no idea what your guidelines are, the kind of life you want to live, where your boundaries lie, or the kind of person you want to be, there’s a good chance that the winds are going to blow you all over the place and that pirates, thieves from other ships, are going to overrun your life, hijack you and take you places you never really wanted to go. Then one day you wake up in a holding cell on somebody else’s ship.

If You Don’t Set Your Intentions, Someone Else Will Call the Shots for Your Life


So, if the clarity is not there, wait it out. Just do the best you can with the understanding that you have. When you seek clarity, even if you’re standing still, you’re still moving in the right direction because you’re not going off course.



There will come times when new clarity comes to you and helps you make course adjustments and hone your direction. That’s fine. It’s okay to change course in the light of clearer understanding.



There will come times when other people may want you to make a quick decision that has a big impact on your life. If you’re not clear on it, if you don’t have peace about it, it’s okay to just wait. Remember, their boat is not your boat, and you are only responsible for your boat. Your purpose in life is not to make everyone else happy.



That’s an impossibility. Because happiness can only come from within and since you are an external force in their lives, you have no control over their ships and they have no control over yours, unless you surrender it. If you surrender your ship to invaders, even benevolent ones, you will never reach your destination and become the self-actualized version of yourself.



So, seek clarity and once you find it, plot your destination, set your intention, make adjustments in light of new clarity, stay the course and sail toward your purpose, your calling.