Columbus Day was celebrated yesterday, thanks to the wisdom of those who instituted the idea of the “Monday holiday”. However, the “real” Columbus Day is October 12th, a day I have never celebrated with a party or special dinner. I have simply remembered and acknowledged the day with gratitude for the adventurous spirit that led to the discovery of new territory.
Setting sail for a new world was not something my husband and I intended to do on this day last year. But our ship was launched by someone who had authority to do so in spite of our reluctance to go to sea. We found ourselves being tossed about in a boat of undetermined sea-worthiness. (I don’t know nautical terms, so bear with me.)
At first, I found myself in the whirlpool of denial. My mind could not comprehend that our anchor had been so ruthlessly yanked by the “powers that be.” For two entire weeks I fully expected to wake up and find that the whole thing had been a dream (like that entire season of Dallas for anyone who might remember). Alas, it was indeed reality. We were adrift on the waves of uncertainty.
Immediately going into “survivor mode”, we found out what we could do without, so we tossed overboard anything that was not a necessity. We found out what our priorities really were: staying afloat and rowing forward, not in a circle. We also discovered the unreliability of emotions as a gauge of . . . well . . . anything! And we were brought face to face with the cold hard reality that nothing is permanent on this earth.
Navigating these uncharted waters with my husband has been an interesting journey. I have watched him rise to the challenge with calm dignity. I have renewed respect for his ability to just “do what has to be done” with hardly a murmur or complaint. He has been a steady and stalwart captain.
As for me, I have learned that while I can see the horizon always looming eerily in the distance, I have to negotiate only one wave at a time. Every day my steady self asks my anxious self, “Do you have what you need for today?” So far, the answer has always been yes.
Thanks be to God, Who has never left or forsaken us, we have been able to move steadily forward each day. I have grown closer to the One Who promised, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” I have become more resourceful and have learned to depend on the Holy Spirit for creativity as well as for comfort and peace. That has been a blessing beyond measure.
We never know what “a day may bring forth.” But we do know the One Who makes the day. We do not know what lies ahead on our ocean of uncertainty, but we do know Who will be at the helm of our boat. How do we know? Because He promised . . .
“When you pass through the waters, I am with you.” Not “if” but “when”. Not “I will be” but “I AM”. He knew we would be here one day at our present location “at sea”; he knew the exact longitude and latitude of our position. And He made Himself available for the trip.
So, on this day, as I remember the old familiar rhyme, “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” I hope that I can adopt what must have been his mind-set as he left familiar shores: “What an adventure!”