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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, March 1

A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"
—Mark 4:37-40

How do we negotiate our ship in stormy times? A wise sailor is one who carefully observes the realities of the wind and waves, the powerful tides and the dangerous rocks. A wise sailor is one who commits to reality, dealing with the contending forces as they are. A wise sailor doesn't waste energy cursing the wind or challenging the waves as though they have no moral right to exist.

Nor does a wise sailor simply ignore the weather, dismissing the clouds as distant and far-off, preferring instead to tidy up the cabin, under the illusion that, at least there, a comfortable degree of control exists. A wise sailor works with the turbulence to keep the ship afloat and everyone safely aboard until there are calmer seas.

My boat is so small and the ocean is so big. We know so little. And sometimes the best that human ingenuity, creativity and reason can produce is powerless against the disorienting turbulence of conflicting waves colliding, jostling, shaking and rolling our storm-tossed boat back and forth, up and down.

But beyond our knowing is the stillpoint of all creation. The presence of Christ, God with us, peacefully quiet in the midst of our anxieties, rising up when the need is greatest, saying, "Peace! Be still! Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"

Ground me in your peaceful presence within, O Christ, and give me the wisdom and courage to face my storms and tides with sure confidence in your abiding care. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2007.