The Harbor

Over a year ago, when I was living in France, I wrote this post.

But I didn't publish it.

It's one of the few that are just kind of hanging out in my drafts folder. For whatever reason, I couldn't hit "publish" so it has remained there. But now, now it is right.

I really love travel quotes. I think they're pretty inspiring.

I ran across one tonight that has quickly claimed a place as one of my favorites.
"A ship is safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are built for." - Gael Attal
When I came across the quote, I fell instantly in love.

When I was younger, I would have friends and even strangers ask me about homeschooling and why I liked it so much. After a while, I came up with a simple analogy to explain it.

"You know about ships right?" I'd ask. "When a ship builder decides to build a new ship he doesn't build it in the ocean. He builds it in the shipyard. He builds it, shapes it, and prepares it for its purpose. In the shipyard it is safe and protected from the roughness of the sea. Yes, it is meant to sail, but it's not ready to do so yet; when the ship is ready, the builder will put it in the water, and it will be used for its purpose."

"Well, my parents homeschooling me was like that," I would continue my explaination. "They're shaping me into the person God wants me to be. Into a person who can weather whatever storms and roughness life may bring. But I'm not ready. I'm still being built. When it's time, when I'm prepared, I'll begin my voyage."

That's why I fell in love with that quote. It reminded me of something I had forgotten about.

If you read my last post, you probably deduced that I'm a bit homesick. Oh, I'm enjoying myself and France is everything I hoped it would be, but a part of my heart yearns for a little community in the southern United States and the people who live there.

When I saw this quote I felt a little put in my place. I still would love to be home, but I was reminded I have a purpose.

The harbor (or shipyard) is safe, yes. But it's not what I was meant for. God has a purpose on this journey. I've seen some of it. Some of it is in little things. Some of it is big. Bigger than I could have imagined. Some of it I can't see. Some of it I may never see. But all of it is what I was made for.

And while ships aren't made for the harbor, I was also reminded that every ship must eventually return there. And it gave me hope. Hope to enjoy the voyage and remember that one day, I'll return to the harbor and enjoy it's safety before I once again embark on the voyage God has planned for me.

Since I wrote that post, I've returned, however briefly, to the harbor. But I am once again reminded, as I prepare to graduate from university this Saturday, that ships aren't built for the harbor.

God didn't make me for the harbor. I still am not completely sure where we are sailing to. I know it involves England and a year of graduate school. After that, the log book has empty pages to fill. Thankfully, this ship is ready. Whatever the route, it is time to do what ships are built for: it is time to sail.


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