May 1998 – Back many years ago I ran across a poem which has stuck with me throughout life. I would like to share that poem with you.
One ship drives east and another west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
’Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea
are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through life:
’Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote that poem after her husband observed from the deck of the steamer Richard Peck that one ship went west and another east in the same wind.
I have thought about that poem many times over the years. I observed that many people have determined that they can only go one way in life – that is the direction in which the wind is blowing.
For the past several years the wind in our country has been blowing toward immorality, the cheapness of human life, the praising of wrong as being right. Many there are, even in positions of Christian leadership, who have decided to set their sails to go with the wind and not against it.
Jesus went against the wind and it meant that He ended up on a cross. I think that is what we are afraid of – a cross. No one likes to be crucified. So we set our sails for the easy way. The consequence of millions of individuals making that decision is the condition in which we currently find ourselves.
Many people have decided that they want Christ but not the cross. It is a contradiction. It can never be. The cross is at the very heart of Christianity. Remove it and there is no Christianity.
You have control over the direction your life will go. Don’t blame anything or anyone else if you made the decision to ignore the cross and go with the gales which are currently blowing. You made the decision.
It is not the way the wind is blowing that determines your direction. It is the set of your soul.