I wonder. Is it "the set of the soul that decides the goal? And not the storms and strife?
When we were first married my husband took me for a sail. When we set out, the wind was in our favor. It blew gently and evenly and our boat skimmed along gracefully as any sea bird. Suddenly the wind changed. We had to shift quickly to keep the boat from overturning. In order to keep our direction, we had to tack; that is, we used the reverse wind to carry us along, but it was a slower process than running with the wind. It required considerable maneuvering to sail against the wind and still make headway.
A heavy shower came down. It seemed as though all of the winds conspired to swamp us. We were forced to furl our sail. Had we kept it set in the teeth of that gale and choppy sea, we would surely have been swamped. At length the sun came out; the sea calmed; the wind once more resumed its lawful course. We again set our sail and steered for home.
This is what I've learned from that memorable sail: We surely must set our sails. But when the storms come? When the wind and waves threaten to overwhelm us? When we cannot set sail in any directions? What then?
On the Sea of Galilee, when the Master of the winds and waves said, "Peace be still," they obeyed him. So when the tempests threaten to overcome us, then only the Master can command the storm.
It seems to me that it does not rest wholly with us, nor with the set of our sails. We must consider the winds and waves. It is these, and the Master's care, that decide the goal.