I saw a yacht in the stormy seas the other day. The wind sent spray everywhere as the yacht punched through the huge swells. The sailors must have been drenched! It was fun and impressive to watch from my warm, dry car. I started wondering about how amazing it was that the yacht did not capsize. Obviously there was an experienced skipper at the helm, but there was also a huge keel beneath the boat.
A keel is the first part of the construction process around which everything else is built. The keel runs in the middle of the ship, from the bow to the stern, (front to back) and serves as the foundation or spine of the structure. It is literally the backbone of the boat and provides not only strength and stability, but it also helps the boat to move forward by preventing it from slipping sideways. Further, if the yacht actually does capsize it is the weight of the keel that will right it again.
The keel is not only the most important part of the boat it is also the only part of the boat that is totally submerged in the water and out of sight.
My understanding of the way of life that Jesus calls us to live is that we will be kept stable in the storms, and be kept from slipping sideways by our hidden work of disciplined daily devotion. The work of prayer, silence and solitude as well as the work of reading and reflecting on the life and teachings of Jesus is the foundation around which everything else will be built, or not. And even if we do end up capsizing, this keel-work is designed to self-right us again.
Disciplined daily devotions is hidden work — but the results of doing it or not, is open for all to see — especially in a storm! If we keep capsizing all the time we really should have a look at the strength of our disciplined daily devotions.
This September — as new life springs forth all around us — we are invited to pay special attention to this most hidden, yet most important area of our living.