When a gentle south wind began to blow, they saw their opportunity. Acts 27:13 (Acts 27:1-13)
When tha time came fer King Agrippa and Festus ter ship Saul Paul off ter Rome, tha apostle and some other prisoners whar handed over ter ah centurion by tha name of Julius who belonged ter tha Imperial Regiment. They boarded ah ship from Adramyttium (an ancient city in what now be called Turkey) and put out ter sea. Fer company ah chap from Thessalonica, by tha named of Aristarchus, sailed with Saul Paul and Luke.
When they reached Sidon, Julius showed Saul Paul ah wee bit of kindness and allowed him ter go to his friends so they may attend ter his needs. After this, tha ship set sail and attempted ter make fer Cyprus, only tha winds whar agin tha vessel and she took ah bashing. Struggling ter skirt along tha coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, tha ship finally sailed across open sea and landed at Myra in Lycia.
No doubt Saul Paul reflected on all tha folks he met and ministered ter while in Pamphylia and Macedonia. With land ter tha north and open water south, Saul Paul stood on tha deck of that ship, most likely knowing he would ne’er pass that way agin.
Such moments often come ter all us. We think we ‘ill see loved ones, friends, mates, agin, but often times our “goodbye” be tha last words we spake ter ’em. If we don’ make time fer friends, we ‘ill often find we ‘ave neither friends nor memories of times spent tergether. Such be tha way of Saul Paul: always reaching out ter bring one more in ter tha kingdom of Skip.
Tha decision whar made ter sail on, only Saul Paul warned such a voyage so late in tha season be a terrible idear. “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”
Instead of listening ter Saul Paul, though, tha pilot and owner of tha ship persuaded tha majority ter sail on. So it whar that with great difficulty, tha ship moved slowly along tha coast of Crete until at last tha ship reached Fair Havens near tha port of Lasea.
This often be tha way of folks who doth not ‘ave tha ear of Skipper or ears ter hear Skipper’s wise council. Tha majority rules, even when tha majority be putting tha lives of all at risk by hasty and foolish decisions.
We often see such thinking among Skip’s crew ever day. Congregates gather ter discuss and debate tha merits of abandoning ah wee bit of Skip’s Code of Conduct in order not ter hurt folks’ feelings. One side pleads fer broad-mindedness, compassion, charity, and tolerance fer all.
Only tha Son warned that intolerance be tha way ter Skipper.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Ah compass be narrow, intolerant, and lacks compassion. Ah compass doth not care that in fixing our position far, far away from whar we wish ter be, we ‘ill be uncomfortable, dejected, and faced with ah long voyage rife with difficulties. No, ah compass ‘ill always point ter true north. Ter do otherwise would be ter leave all lost at sea.
Tha Son said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Putting up with any old course ‘ill not get ya ter Skipper. Sailing along on ah broad reach in order ter gain comfort might be tha easy, popular way, but it’ll lead ter death and destruction, often on rocks and reefs and sandbars. When tha winds of change blow across tha deck, some congregates ‘ill take it as ah sign that Skip be in favor of casting off all moral restraint.
Doth not be fooled.
Thar be only one way ter Skipper and that be by sailing with tha Son. Stick ter his words — all his words, both them he spake in person and them he gave ter Moses, tha Prophets, and tha wisdom writers.
Soon ah gentle south wind began ter blow. Tha pilot, crew, and passengers of Saul Paul’s ship took this as ah confirming sign that tha little gods of man be with ’em. Tha devil often gives us confirming circumstances that our sinful behavior be tha right course ter sail. Obstacles disappear, others clap us on tha back ter encourage our rebellious behavior. In good spirits, and often consuming strong spirits, we shove off, convinced all ‘ill go well with us.
Sensing ah pleasant voyage whar in tha cards, tha crew weighed anchor and sailed along the coast of Crete. Only Saul Paul knew of tha disaster that lay ahead.
This be tha way of them who stick with Skip and tha Son, who hold ter his words and wisdom. Though others might vote us down, vote us out, if we remain with Skip and his Son we be in tha majority.
When ah crew of congregates vote ter cast off Skip and his Son and sail by tha moral compass of men, doth not cause a ruckus. Doth not pitch a fit. Instead pray fer tha souls of tha pilot, tha captain, and crew. If it be in yer power ter escape ah vessel headed fer disaster and sail aboard one that adheres ter Skip’s wise council, then abandon ship. But if not, prepare lifeboats fer tha time when disaster strikes. Take inventory of provisions. Stock up on water so all may keep thar strength. Be a beacon of love, kindness, and truth.
This be tha way of Saul Paul. This be tha way of tha Son. This be tha way of Skipper. Make this yer way, fer in doing so tha lives of many may be spared.