One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
I care not much for the philosophy of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, however, I do like her poems. and this one in particular, ‘One Ship Sails East.’ You guessed it. I am still musing on the Pilgrims and a Pilgrim State of Mind!
Now it’s a long time since I was in a storm at sea, my last memorable one being a force nine in the Bay of Biscay whilst on a Nicholson 55ft yacht. It was emotional and one of the reasons I decided to fly back to the UK from Gibralter and not sail back. I don’t really like sailing, though to be sure, I did learn the truth of this poem, in that it matters not which direction the wind blows or how violent the storm, it is indeed the set of the sail that sets the direction of travel.
I told you last week that it took the Pilgrims 66 days to sail the Atlantic, but I tell you now, that it took them years to get to Virginia. What was their final destination? It was to have a free church, separate from corruption, and dedicated to the teachings and precepts of the Word of God alone. Virginia became the bulls-eye for that plantation goal and Plymouth their eventual place of colony. To get there, years of prayerful planning and preparation were brought to the fore , negotiations were entered into, savings were built up and plundered, great obstacles were overcome, including imprisonment, sickness, sedition and death. Upheaval was the norm, as was many a different storm. No matter, for you see once the destination was in view, the sails were set to meet each kind of wind so that the direction of travel remained the same.
I trust that this will be a word of encouragement to someone today, and I trust you will also consider encouraging us by supporting this ministry.
Your Separatist brother, plodding on and keeping on keeping on…..
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