FOGNAV When I was a seaman's apprentice in the Coast Guard, I loved piloting our patrol boat on rescue missions. I knew our Â€ÂœOp AreaÂ€ on the Delaware River and was familiar with the effects of the tides. I felt confident pushing our boats twin diesel engines to the max. Not all of our time was spent responding to emergencies. Much time was spent on planning and training. For me, one of the most difficult training exercises was Fog Navigation. To prepare for those times when we couldn't see any landmarks, we needed to practice navigating by radar. Our coxswain would cover the windows and order us to pilot the boat to a specif location. Under these conditions, I no longer wanted to run Full Speed Ahead. I didn't really want to obey at all. I did not trust that machine to give me adequate information and I didn't trust myself to interpret the information it did give me. I was not the mature boat crewman I thought I was. In fact, in this area of seamanship, I was probably one of the most backward crewman our coxswain had ever trained. But he persisted, and I learned. The same problem I had as a sailor occasionally pops up in my spiritual life as well. As long as I am on familiar ground, I am confident and enthusiastic. Obeying God is pure joy. But when Unique or unusual situations arise (and the Lord does seem to love throwing me into those unique and unusual situations) my doubts may arise as well. For me, trusting has a lot to do with joyful obedience. Can I trust God to give me all the information I need to deal with this event? Can I trust myself to wisely use the information he gives me? Maybe the big question is- how do we come to trust God? Trust is built on relationships. The better we know someone, the more we learn to trust them. Our Heavenly Father has gone to great lengths to make himself knowable. We can learn about God through the Law and the Prophets of the Old Testament. We can know God through the words and deeds of Jesus as revealed in the New Testament. We can know God through the witness of our pastors and teachers and Christian friends, and we can know God through prayer and meditation. The better we know God, the more we trust, and the willing we are to take risks. The more we risk, the more he shows himself faithful. I have been blessed with friendship by obeying the nudging of the Holy Spirit. At a Bible study, a man recovering from addictions mentioned how badly he felt at not having many visitors. He was a stranger; from a worldly standpoint it made no sense to offer to visit him. But that's what I sensed God prompting me to do. Out of that first visit, a strong friendship grew. He and I eventually started a 12 step Bible study: I handled the Bible teaching and he provided the addictions recovery knowledge. Always God has richly rewarded my efforts to obey him. I still sometimes question my ability to understand God's guidance, but I know if I'm willing to be obedient, he will see me through the storms. He'll help me complete every mission that he gives me. And there is joy in the journey.
Loved the analogy.. and you definitely made your point very strongly. -I fear we all tend to flounder around when we are forced out of our comfort zone.
Thank you for sharing! :)
How often did Jesus say to His disciples "Oh ye of little faith?"
I, too, loved the analogy. Like so many things in life, the first time(s) of doing many things can be frightening... riding a bike, flying in a plane...
Familiarity removes much of the fear. But we still must respect the potential, the power.
And so it is with God!
Great analogy. We walk By Faith, not sight. I am like you though, faith in God is one thing, faith in a machine, on a boat, in the ocean, forget about it! You have definitely got me beat, I wll not get into deep water I can't swim out of, or an airplane, cause I can not fly if it decides not to!
God Bless, Billy