Metaphorically Speaking…FAITH: Sailing the Seven C’s

A storm at sea is a terrifying thing. Much folklore and superstition abounds in the sailing community, for many a sailor has disappeared into the dark and mysterious depths of the sea. How petrifying it is to believe that the gods of the sea are angry with you, or that the Kraken lurks in the darkness beneath the ship, waiting for the right opportunity to devour both ship and crew.


On the other hand, a windless day can be a beautifully calming experience for those on land, while for the sailor it is the doldrums, a period of stagnation or slump, depression or listlessness. While the ship bobs listlessly at sea, stores of food and water continue to decline, putting the sailor’s life in jeopardy. While the skies may be bright and cheery all about the sailor, the circumstance may indeed be cloudy, with no end of the doldrums in sight.

The emotions of a young sailor can be many and diverse. While it is possible to be so naïve or deluded as to the dangers of life at sea that each morning is greeted with a confident joy-filled expectancy, it is just as possible to hold the perspective of being shanghaied, wherein life becomes a pattern of revolving fear and despair, as each challenge looms ominous…and purposeless.

Is naivety and delusion the only stream to confidence, joy and expectancy in the life of the sailor? What is the substance of conviction within the heart, which is powerful enough to lead to confidence through the doldrums, or courage while the storm rages on and weary muscles labor?

Shanghaied or volunteer, the ship’s Captain is the source of much of the sailor’s confidence (or lack thereof) through the storms and doldrums of life at sea. If the Captain is truly an experienced sailor, with many years of sailing behind him, and if he has proven to be competent in navigating through the storms, as well as stretching provision through doldrums, the sailor’s confidence may be rightly placed. If, however, the captain is as green as the young sailor, or not dedicated to all that is under his authority, when the storm hits, all hope may be lost at sea.

It is the substance of truth that merits faith. Is the captain worthy, or is he not? A belief that a greenhorn Captain is worthy may indeed be nothing more than delusion or naivety. A lack of acknowledgement and belief in a proven Captain may be the source of much unnecessary fear and despair. Truth in this case is the reality, the substance of whether or not the Captain is indeed worthy of faith. This substance produces the courage for faithful (faith-filled) action within the heart of the sailor. It calls the sailor to calibrate (reflect, weigh and adjust) the emotions of the heart and the actions of the hand.


Faith then must be the confidence to act with conviction of certainty of truth while calibrating a life of courageous conduct through every circumstance.