Monday, September 01, 2008

Spill the wind

One of the things I like about sailing is the infinite number of adjustments that can be made to the trim of the sail. Some days I just set them and forget them. On others, I tweak them in all sorts of ways by easing or tightening lines, trying to eke out that last bit of speed drawn from the power of the wind.

Today, the wind was blowing about 15-20 miles per hour in the St. Simons Sound, with gusts much higher. Several of the gusts led to our being overpowered, which is evident by the heeling of the boat and the excited shouts from my crew as they awaken from their seasick-induced slumber.

One of the sail adjustments available is to increase the amount of twist in the sail. Simply put, the bottom of the sail is presented full on to the wind for power, but the top twists away, spilling the wind from the sail. This reduces heel angle without sacrificing too much speed, especially in breezy conditions.

While James said "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7), Paul suggested that there are times we need to run rather than resist: from immorality (1 Cor 6:18), idolatry (1 Cor 10:14), and youthful passions (1 Tim 2:22). Paul's words suggest to me that I need to spill the wind when faced with temptation. While resisting the temptation, I need to run toward righteousness, faith, love, peace and a pure heart (1 Tim 2:22). I resist the enemy by standing firmly in the word, but I present him less of a target as I head off in pursuit of higher aims.

So, if you are being overpowered today, spill the wind. Don't try to stand against everything that comes your way. Stand firm where you can and then run from the rest.

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