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Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All, 2019

Merry Christmas to One and All.

The Helm is Yours.

The Op’t Hof, family took sailing lessons from Bonneville in August.
Elisa shared her sailing/holiday thoughts with us.
  We wanted your lives to be as enriched as ours were from receiving this message.

Recently, my husband, four of my children and I finished a six week sailing class.

One of the first things our captain taught us was that while on the boat it is important that we are always clear on who has the helm. We changed helmsman usually a couple of dozen times per each three-hour class and each and every time he would be listening to make sure we communicated the exchange by stating, “The helm is yours,” when passing the responsibility.

The new helmsman would acknowledge it with a simple, “I have the helm.”

I noticed, at times, resistance from some of the budding sailors. The one giving up the helm might say, “The helm is yours,” but still sit close, still keep their hand on or hovering near the tiller, not fully trusting or ready to give up their stewardship to the next helmsman.

In this great voyage of life that we are all endeavoring, Christ is at the helm. He is there to steer and guide through sunshine and squall , through the doldrums and the tempests. He is at the helm whether we acknowledge him or not.

But how often are we fighting for control, unwilling to take out hands off the tiller?

How often, in the midst of a storm, do we forget that he will guide us through?

Oh, there is still plenty to do on a boat even if you are not at the helm. There are sails to trim to help us gain speed and efficiency on our journey. We must keep a constant lookout for dangers. We should care for our fellow crew-members, helping and lifting, encouraging and loving. But the single most important responsibility of any crew member?

Stay on the boat. Keep ourselves aboard. With our Savior at the helm.

Even when I don’t know what to do, even if I am broken and injured and can’t pick myself off the cabin floor, He is still there, guiding.

So many times have I forgotten this in my life! I have fallen off, only to be rescued in mercy time and again.

Or when I have seen an approaching storm on the horizon, dark and churning, grabbed desperately at the tiller, and tried to take control, turn away….

Forgetting, forgetting that Christ has the helm. Today and always. He knows where to steer us. He knows when to change course.

And it’s my job to loosen my grip, listen to His gentle reassurance, and say in response, “The helm is yours.”

Elisa Op’t Hof

Have a Merry Christmas from Todd and Louise.

Bonneville School of Sailing

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