Sailing On

"The only trouble with anchors is that they can grow roots! We need the still point of rest and restoration that our anchor offers, but we also need to be able to let go of the mooring and set sail again. We must let go of every signpost and journey on. We cannot be 'established.'

"Archbishop Helder Camara has this to say on the subject:

when your ship
long moored in harbor gives you the illusion of being a house;
when your ship begins to put down roots
in the stagnant water by the quay
Save your boat's journeying soul
And your own pilgrim soul,
Cost what it may!'

"The safety that we think we are seeking in our moorings, and that we hope to eternalize in heaven, is not, it appears, the final destination. Helder Camara is passionate in his warning that to stay safe may cost us the very soul we are seeking to save.

"Less dramatically, but rather movingly, a Welsh couple I heard about bought a new home. They were discussing what name they should give it. The first suggestion was the Welsh word cartref, meaning a final anchorage, a place where one has arrived and can unpack and settle down. But their final choice was the Welsh arosfa, meaning a midway halt, a drop-in place where there is warmth and welcome, but no ultimate permanence.

"We are on a journey. We don't know the destination. All we know is that the boat sails on and that the earth is a globe, not a tabletop. And so we might envision our life as something of a circular journey — a voyage 'round the world' of our own unique circumstances — a voyage that may seem to keep on returning to its beginnings. Each return to home port carries a new degree of awareness and maturity. The circular pattern of our living reveals itself to be more like a spiral, and every choice we make helps to determine whether, in the final analysis, our personal spiral is leading upward toward the fullness of everything we are called to become, or downward into disintegration.

"Perhaps the destination is nothing more, or less, than the ocean of God's love with its potential to transform us from the partialness of who we are now into the fullness of all creation into which we are being called. To live a life of faith is to trust the journey and to shape our choices in favor of the spiral that leads to Life."