Homeward Bound

To the seafarer there sometimes seems a vast difference between the outward and the homeward journeys. Homeward bound! How the words have rung in the ears and the hearts of the mariners of the world, from the ship's boy of an old windjammer to the captain of the floating palaces of the Atlantic! The homes that call across the sea are equally diverse.

The force of an ideal is exemplified in the vigor which marks the sailor's work when his ship is heading for home. Storms daunt him less; for just beyond the horizon—recede how it will—are warmth, welcome, and all that stands for home. What mariner would allow his ship's course to be determined by the varying forces and circumstances of marine experience! Tack he may, but only to the same end,—the reaching of his haven.

Have we the same wisdom with regard to life's purpose and course? Do we study the Science of being as carefully as the science of navigation is studied by the sailor? Scan we the signs of the times as well as the face of the sky? The rocks, sand banks, and fog banks of carnality,—are they as carefully noted, buoy-marked, and avoided as those of the high seas? All these are pertinent questions, and certainly of equal importance with those put to one when he sits for his Board of Trade examination. Upon his answers depends the success or the failure of his life's voyage. He may say that he leaves his course in the hands of the Great Pilot. But does he? Blind faith in God, without understanding, is as unsatisfactory as blind faith in the rules of nautical science, without a practical knowledge of them. Though a pilot were aboard a ship, his skill would be nullified if the officers and crew did not understand his language, or disobeyed his orders, or turned into their bunks and slept. The language of Spirit is spiritual. How can we understand the orders of Spirit and obey them, unless the preliminary knowledge of the language of Spirit be gained?

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Longing versus Understanding
September 15, 1923

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.