My Minister, A Father
We look to the Pastors of the Church as we do to a father. They lead the Ship Zion with the same diligence and care of a Captain of the largest of ocean going vessels. They warn us of pitfalls and dangers, keeping close watch in the storms, ready to send a lifeboat if they see someone struggling in the waves.
One older Pastor I’m thinking about, and who inspired this card because of the father figure he is to us all, knows huge portions of scripture by heart. He puts his Bible on the pulpit, but I doubt he really needs to. Mostly, he recites the scriptures he wants to share, and even if he reads some, he spills over with more scripture throughout his sermon. And in amongst the scripture are other quotes, and whole poems. Poems like this one, that inspire us to higher roads (or seas).
But to every mind there openeth,
A way, and way, and away,
A high soul climbs the highway,
And the low soul gropes the low,
And in between on the misty flats,
The rest drift to and fro.
But to every man there openeth,
A high way and a low,
And every mind decideth,
The way his soul shall go.
One ship sails east, and another west,
By the self-same winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails, and not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea are the waves of time
As we journey along through life.
‘Tis the set of the soul that determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Ella Wheeler Willcox
All Sails Set
“All Sails Set” was the title of my sixth grade Reading Textbook, which was the most inspiring title of all my reading textbooks in elementary school. It was chock full of dreams and far horizons and the possibility that even I, a little farm girl from the boonies, could see the romantic places the stories told about.
I don’t remember now where those places were, but I have traveled a lot more than I ever dreamt I would at that time. I always was more of a dreamer than my family thought I should be. But in sixth grade? I never thought world travel was in my future. Couldn’t fathom it.
Just goes to show, dreams do come true. Even for little rustic farm girls.
If I had known what the phrase “with all sails set” actually meant, I might have been more of a dream-believer.
“Paint the town red.”
And this one, “Flaws and all.”
Well, I’m still dreaming; I can still set my sails. Want to come help me paint the town red? That would be tickety-boo. We’ll be just hunky-dory, flaws and all.