Tuesday, July 24, 2018

From the helm to the engine room

Photo by Colin Avery on Unsplash

Busy are we in our faith, so busy that we do not realise where we are. When was it that we ended up at the helm of the ship that only Christ is qualified to steer?
From such a realisation — any moment or any day, really — we make haste then for the engine room, to supply for the ship the steam it needs to break through the coming waves. In the engine room we’re handy. If we don’t mind getting our hands dirty and perspiring a little. It’s in the engine room, away from the glitz and glamour of the bridge, that we’re fashioned in the likeness of the only One worth being fashioned on. It’s there in the noise and the fume and the heat that we gather the fortitude to stay in situations through the steadiness of trust when everything screams from within us, ‘Run!’ when we know running denies us the strength of life.
From the helm to the engine room. It’s the heart’s journey from pride down to humility. It’s when we hand back control to our Lord, admitting our wrong, repenting again of our wicked way. Maybe it’s the hurt within a conflict that has gotten the better of us. Or maybe we are coveting something that isn’t ours. The journey from the helm to the engine room involves us owning our wrong and not focusing in on theirs. As we run down the grating, ready to do the maintenance required, we issue forth an apology. Whereas at the helm we assumed control and felt we were right, in the engine room we can see all the faults, so now we accept it’s our job to tend to them.
There is no functionality of relationship,
and no viable hope, without humility.
From the helm to the engine room. It’s from fear and insecurity to the depths of trust in faith. At the helm we face the fury of the waves, but we can refuse to acknowledge the power they have, because we refuse to acknowledge our fear and insecurity. As we make our way back down to the engine room we also acknowledge the only way to meet those waves is by the awesome mechanical power that propels our ship. By going to the engine room, and leaving the steering to Jesus, we agree that He meets the wind and the waves best, the wind and waves that know His name.
In doing what we alone can do,
we trust Him to do the rest.
From the helm to the engine room. It’s from the despair that readily clings to an ill-fated vision to the resoluteness of hope that casts doubt to the raging sea. Standing aloft on the bridge can leave us feeling useless to enact the changes required when all in the engine room is idle. But hope forces us down those steps, level by level we gain an ascendancy, and as we arrive on the engine room floor we see what must be done.
Hope sees what it can do, and it does that thing.
Hope takes control of what it can control,
leaving the rest to God.
***
While we feel comfortable at the helm,
God needs us in the engine room,
as we let Him steer our ship.
It’s comforting to attempt control,
but wresting control offers up
uncomfortable consequences.
God needs the horsepower of our obedience,
as His faithfulness steers us as we trust.
***

Engine room obedience trusts God’s faithfulness to steer the ship.  

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