Whether it’s strangling red salmon for a living on Alaska’s Bristol Bay or navigating a course through life, you need to know where you’re boat’s going, and to steer your way there you need the force of moving water shoving against the rudder.
When younger, I’d plunge into unknowns the most hairy-chested angel might well hesitate to stick even the tip of his toe into. With abandon, I’d fly into whatever wild adventure or enterprise came to mind or appeared in my path and seemed appealing. Never a consultation with those who could have mentored me. Never a seeking of or dependence on God for his leading or help. I had a lot of water flowing over my rudder, but it was undisciplined.
As the same time, I often dismissed with a wave of my hand tremendous opportunities, opportunities that if taken up, would have probably given me a life of wonderful economic success. As if they grew on trees, I turned my back on offerings, openings and chances at veritable gold mines that, as I watched them develop for others over the years, proved to be sure-fire. I’d list a half dozen, but I don’t want to make you or myself sick.
At a point of abject dissatisfaction over where I was in life spiritually and economically, I made changes. I set my face like a flint to put my life in God’s capable hands. And I resolved, with his help, to analyze opportunity more thoroughly to create a much closer match in my hindsight-on-foresight overlays.
But then I went from one extreme to the other. Young in the faith, I didn’t want to move without God’s clear direction. However, also because I was young in the faith, I wanted communication stronger than the still, small voice he usually employs. As he did so often, my commercial fishing partner Rev. Keith Lauwers, came through with a distilled gem of advice.
“Rod, it’s kinda simple. God doesn’t take some perverse delight in complicating things for someone who’s greatest desire is to follow him. If you’ve asked God for direction and you’re living in obedience, not rebellion, then you can do about anything you want.” Wow! I thought about that. If I my heart was in the right place and, especially, if I was working in the area of my God-given talent, I didn’t have to wait for fire to fall from heaven. My own enthusiasm could well be—even probably was—the still small voice of God directing and empowering me.
Now there was a modus operandi breakthrough that could really put water over my rudder.