THE FOOLISH SAILOR
Two sailors went out to sea.
A light breeze filled their sails, and their boats sliced through the water. The first boat pulled ahead, the second tacked smoothly onto a starboard course, the first passed to port, and so on.
All at once the light breeze picked up; gusts skimmed down the lake. One minute the wind was blowing from the south, then from the southeast, then from the east. Ripples turned into whitecaps. A scud of clouds shadowed the sun.
The first sailor checked his barometer: the pressure was falling. He checked his digital handheld anemometer: the wind speed was rising. “Storm’s a’coming,” he warned. Down came his sails, his motor roared to life, and turning his back on the unpredictable wind, he shot for shore.
“Storm’s a’coming,” the second sailor rejoiced. Heading into the wind, he reefed his mainsail and hoisted his smaller storm jib. Then the wind filled his sails and away he zipped, lilting and tilting with the gusts, plunging and plowing through the waves.
Safe and secure at the dock, the first sailor watched the second boat dipping and diving as the wind got stronger and stronger. “Fool,” he muttered.
Just as he was blown over the edge of the horizon, the second sailor glimpsed ahead an island he never knew existed. Looking back at the harbour, he spotted the mast of the first sailor. “Fool,” he muttered, and then he was gone.
Postscript (Spring 2022): My Living with Christ app always has a quote at the top of the list of readings for the day. Venerable Bede's "Unfurl the sails, and let God steer where He will" popped up one day this spring and reminded me of this, my first attempt at a parable. Copyright 2021, Catherine Ripley
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