Last week as I was catching the train home from work I found myself staring into Circular Quay where a giant ship was leaving the harbor into the open seas—led only by a small tug boat.
This tiny tug boat was navigating the ship and it got me thinking; how often do we overlook the seemingly insignificant things in our lives, only to realize that without them we wouldn't be where we are today?
This whole ship (holding thousands of passengers) was being led by a small group of men and women on board a small boat. If the tug boat was even slightly off-course it would bring utter chaos into the harbor and potentially hurt many people.
Similarly, a plane is navigated through the air by small degrees of instructions. If the pilot is even one or two degrees off, the entire plane, the people and the countries surrounding it could be in trouble.
Setting the course
I think our lives can be the same sometimes. Often we can disregard the tug boats in our lives – the mundane tasks, the training, and the daily choices.
For example, if we choose to take the challenge that 2017 will be a year of healthy eating and exercise, but decide not to follow it each day, each meal we have could take us off-course. Or take our spiritual lives, if we choose to make 2017 the year that we put God first in everything we do, but choose not to read our bibles each day and spend time praying, our year could be taken off-course very quickly.
Finding our way
The tug boat in the harbor was there to navigate the ship to its destination so that it could get there safely, not impact anything around it and take on the new seas that it needed to.
In the same way, our lives have numerous tug boats that we are given each day to keep us on course; perhaps it is the word of God or perhaps it is wise counsel through friends or family. We can choose to do life on our own, but time and time again throughout the scriptures we are prompted to do life in community.
From the very beginning, when God created Adam, it says in Genesis 2 verse 18 that "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'
Right through to the New Testament, which in Romans 12 verses 4 – 5 it says, "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not have all the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others."
The wise counsel of others
Life is filled with ups, downs, adventures, peaks, valleys and everything in between. Whilst we could do it alone and try to navigate our own course with God – I wonder that many of us are missing the opportunity to truly understand grace, love and mercy by allowing others to help us (and to reciprocate by helping them).
Like this story of a tug boat leading a giant ship out of the harbor onto the open seas, our lives are filled with potential and growth to take on new ground, but we will only see this by allowing others around us to help provide their counsel.