Tacking. I learned about tacking as a preteen. I grew up near water and had a friend with a sailboat. Lake Hilda was down the street from my house and my best friend, Ken, lived right on the lake. We spent countless hours on the lake, in the lake, and around the lake … sailing, swimming, and fishing.
Lake Hilda was a manmade lake designed somewhat like a human hand. It had a large central area, “the palm,” with “fingers” which radiated out from that palm. The shore of Lake Hilda was lined with homes and townhouses. Ken lived at the end of the one of those fingers.
Sailing from Ken’s home up the finger into the “palm” could be easy or it could be a bit of a challenge. It all depended upon which way the wind was blowing. If it wind was blowing in just the right direction, sailing out of the “finger” was a piece of cake and we could be out in the “palm” in no time. However, if the wind was not blowing the way we wanted, well, that was a different story. In that case we would have to zigzag our way up the “finger” in order to get to the “palm.” We would point the boat toward a neighbor’s house across the “finger” and when we got near their shore, we would turn around and angle back toward Ken’s shore … only a little away from where we started and more toward the “palm.” Back and forth, zigzagging our way eventually into the “palm.” This was tacking.
Needless to say, we had no control over the wind. We could not make a still day become breezy and we could not shift the direction of the wind to blow the way we wanted. If we wanted to sail, we had to work with the wind however it was blowing.
When we come up against change in life, it’s like the wind on the lake has shifted. When life is flowing along smoothly, “sailing” settles into a comfortable rhythm. But when the wind is no longer blowing the direction that makes sailing easy, it’s time to tack. It’s time to pray for wisdom: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5). “Lord, give us wisdom to navigate these new winds.”
This month we say “Goodbye” to Jesse and Sydney Slinkman. We will have a send-off meal for them after the worship service on April 10.
We have been blessed to have Jesse as our Director of Worship and Communications for the past three plus years. Our loss will be Harvest Bible Chapel’s gain as Jesse steps into his new role as their worship leader. Pray for God’s blessing and provision for the Slinkmans through this transition.
God makes the winds of change to blow and shift according to His good will. And so we ask, how do we best move with Him? We do want to keep “sailing” well – how do we best tack in these waters in order to fulfill God’s Gospel purposes for us?
We trust in the Lord. He is faithful. “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made” (Psalm 145:13). In addition to praying for the Slinkmans, pray for God’s provision for our church as well. Pray for the elders that God would guide us and give us the wisdom we need during this transition.
In the late 1800s the Duke of Cambridge said, “Any change, at any time, for any reason, is to be deplored.” We can hate change, we can resist change, we can even try to deny change, but there is no way we can avoid change. Rather, by God’s grace, let’s embrace change as God’s will and look forward by faith to what He has ahead!