Sunday, March 20, 2011
Dating Again: The Adventure of New Beginnings
"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are meant for.”
Ships are designed to go somewhere; they are for adventures, not dry dock.
Certainly, ships may need to be pulled out of the water for needed repairs at times. But the vessel doesn’t stay in the quiet harbor forever. It was designed for much greater purposes. In stormy weather or smooth seas, it sails on.
Yet people who’ve had their heart broken often want to stay in the safety of the harbor of isolation or not pursuing new relationships. They don’t want to set sail in the high seas of love again. It’s too scary. I might get hurt. I don’t want to start all over again.
Yeah, I’ve heard all the excuses. I’ve even made a few myself.
Sure, beginning again can be challenging. You’ve been hurt and you don’t want to risk having your heart broken again. You’ve gotten used to the still waters of the harbor; it’s quiet, comfortable and safe.
But it’s existing, not living.
And it takes a leap of faith to put the boat out to sea again. Here’s a good way to look at it: “The leap of faith always means loving without expecting to be loved in return, giving without wanting to receive, inviting without hoping to be invited, holding without asking to be held,” said Henri Nouwen in The Return of the Prodigal Son.
Instead of a blind leap, you take an informed leap of faith when you know who is steering the ship of your life. If God is your Captain, then trust is built and fear subsides because you know that He is entirely reliable, dependable and true. And He is yours.
As you learn to trust again, and take purposeful and prayerful risks, things will change. And maybe this time, it will be different. Journey on. With your competent and seasoned Captain, who knows what adventures await?
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.