We took our kids to an amusement park and when they looked down from the gondola, they were captivated by the area where you can put in a quarter and drive a remote control boat. You know the type, built in the ’80s…the water is murky and dirty, the boats are operated with a steering wheel, and maybe they are going the direction the child turning the wheel is steering them, but maybe not…you can’t quite tell. Yet my kids’ desire to be the captain of the ship was so overwhelming that they kept loading quarters and fighting over who got to drive the broken boat through the murky water.

I think some of us spend our whole lives fighting to be the captain, loading quarters…fighting for position to be in control of a life that doesn’t even work and isn’t all that fun anyway.

Right outside the theme park is an ocean, with a boat and a Captain waiting for you to get in. In this boat, sometimes the Captain will point you in the direction you should go and hand you the wheel. Sometimes He’ll ask you to swab the deck. Sometimes He may ask you to sit and wait while He drives the boat through choppy water. Sometimes He will ask you to trust Him when you don’t understand why and where you are headed. You can quit at any time, but you believe in where the Captain is leading and if you choose to stay, you are in for the ride of your life.

At the amusement park, you are only pretending. So many of us live our whole lives pretending that we are living the real life. Maybe we are even convinced that we are, or perhaps we are afraid that if we walk away from this little contained pond, life might get scary and uncertain.

There is nothing scarier than wasting your life on the pretend pond when the Captain of the universe is inviting you into His boat.

The smartest thing you can do is to leave behind your bag of quarters, forget the murky pond, and join the Creator of the wind and skies and seas.

You can be the captain of your ship, but I’ve been in the real boat, and I’m telling you that’s where I want to be.


Kirstin Ricketts