Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pushing Clear from the Safety of Land

CAN IT BE THAT WE NEED TO PUSH AWAY? Perhaps as a function of your life to this point there is unrest and you’re resolving to do something about it. Life’s just not turning out like you thought it would, or it’s taken a turn for the worse.

If this is you, you’re not alone. People are grappling with change and people always have. Whether we like change or not (and most apparently don’t) it’s inevitable as evidence of discontent is placed before us; accept it or do something about it. If we deny our need of change it only makes matters worse.

There surely has to be a way of tackling change in a positive way.

Emily Dickinson’s poem Exultation is the Going attends perfectly to the right approach to change:

“Exultation is the going

Of an inland soul to sea,

Past the houses—past the headlands—

Into deep Eternity—

“Bred as we, among the mountains,

Can the sailor understand

The divine intoxication

Of the first league out from land?”

The ultimate in life is stepping out in the midst of challenge; that the thing that forces us to change—the catalyst—is actually a blessing in disguise. It gets us going.

Think about it. The goading rod prodding us in the backside is the real reason we’ve ever done anything. If it weren’t for these issues we’ve faced we’d not have done anything, truly. Dickinson’s poem uses the vivid imagery of pushing away from the safety of the shore to conquer exhilarating feats locked up as secrets of the soul. She, of a sense, describes our safety as something that keeps us from this sense of exultation—ecstasy, delight, euphoria.

Exultation is in the going. As soon as we’ve pushed clear of land and we look back, then we know we’re in the hands of God—it’s a funny, weird, semi-scary feeling of expressed faith. Some have called it ‘faithful action.’

Explore it and take the plunge.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.


  1. Steve ......no words ...you said it well enough ...LOVE it

  2. Thanks Glenda - always LOVE your feeback!
    Bless you.


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