Paul walked with his bags up the gang plank onto the ship but the chorus of sea birds drowned out the sound of his steps. The ship smelt of salt-soaked hemp ropes and tar. Beyond the ship, the green sea twinkled but Paul never noticed; he was thinking of the people he knew and those he had never met awaiting at his destination. Near the end of his life Paul said “… the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:6-7). The word “course” was used in regard to plotting the course of a ship. Most of Paul’s missionary life, he was on a boat somewhere on the Mediterranean. These sea journeys were not the only voyages he took, for He took an internal voyage as well. Our lives are like a voyage, for we must all know our destination and negotiate the shallow waters of low goals and the rocks of intimidation. This is true of individuals and of churches. Every person is born for a purpose and our voyage is to fulfill our “pre-destiny.”
Hundreds of years ago, men were press ganged into the Navy to fight for King and country. They were captured as they walked home from the pub and they woke up below decks out at sea. Our Captain only captures our hearts and gives us His vision of reality. But one thing is still true; we are called to a Royal campaign, not to a jazz cruise. Jesus looks for men and women who will enlist for life. We can’t be a soldier for the summer and there are no reserves. Our voyage begins when we discover who God has made us and we decide to become it; when we understand the reason for our birth and we pursue it in spite of all opposition. Every job and ministry is about recreating the world God that intended. He assigns us to fix something that has fallen in people, education, business, church or society.
Friend, even if there is a flotilla before you, to keep you from the future God has planned, Jesus guarantees victory in the conflict. The apostle Paul said “…I kept the faith”. Keeping the faith is not remaining a believer till Jesus takes you home; but doing our part to make the earth a home for Jesus now. That won’t happen unless we all fight the good fight and thereby finish our course. Lets march forth into the cursed world to release our Captains “blessings” and not merely fill the Sunday grandstand and wave a handkerchief of token appreciation, for those that do.