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Bread for the Journey

This Year is Yours!
God built and launched this year for you;
Upon the bridge you stand;
It's your ship, aye, your own ship,
And you are in command.
Just what the twelve months' trip will do
Rests wholly, solely, friend, with you.
Your logbook kept from day to day
My friend, what will it show?
Have you on your appointed way
Made progress, yes or no?
The log will tell, like guiding star,
The sort of captain that you are.
For weal or woe this year is yours;
Your ship is on life's sea
Your acts, as captain, must decide
Whichever it shall be;
So now in starting on your trip,
Ask God to help you sail your ship.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
How many of you are coasting out there alone on the rough waters? A dear friend who is going through a difficult time shared this poem with me this week which reminded me that January is over and we still have 11 more months to choose how we want to sail our ship. It was interesting that we both wished we had our mother's here by our sides to share their stories about how they set their sails, and how they maneuvered their ships over those tormenting waves and storms.
I'm not sure who is directing your sail, or what kind of captain you are...but I know that you are not alone out there with your difficulties. I'm sure there are some days you wonder why you even got up. I, along with others have felt heartache and pain, unsolved problems and yet, like the captain of the boat...we are encouraged to look ahead and steer the way. Sometimes it's easier to look back.
So as you move forward in your day, weeks, or months, I encourage you to rest in the knowledge that tomorrow is still in God's hand. Our joy is not in the day, but in the Lord, who made the day. It is our day to use or lose. Let's set our sails and keep looking to the face of God as we waken each day.
"Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever." Ps. 145:2


  1. I love what you said...our joy is in the Lord, not in the day...I will cherish that thought. Thank you.

  2. A powerful poem! important for all of us. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is our helper and our joy. This is for me today as well. Thank you!

  3. "Our joy is not in the day, but in the Lord who made the day" .. .thank you for those wise words Marg. I woke up early and lay in bed looking back and now I am here reading this. Surely God will be help me sail my ship through waters unknown.

  4. Boy did I need this today! Thank you for sharing that...

  5. Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and sail on. What a timely reminder for each of us, Marg.

  6. "Our joy is not in the day, but in the Lord who made the day" I love those words too! Praising Him on days where things are rosy comes easy but I find that it takes so much discipline to praise Him on the difficult days...but so worth it when I make the choice to do so!

    Love the poem as well.

  7. Thank you, Marg... I love the picture of us 'sailing our own ship' ... no matter what comes our way we still have the choice of WHO we will trust to enable us to safely navigate the waters of our days.
    I LOVE the poem !

    PS.. my word verification is 'lessin' ... You have given us a wonderful 'lesson' this morning !!

  8. Thanks for this encouragement.Sometimes the year ahead looks very long and lonely,but I need to remember that God has not moved.

  9. Thank you for posting this "Bread for the Journey" today. I will reflect on this as I start a new week of work.

  10. Wonderful post! We are often like Peter. Once we take our eyes off Jesus and look at the waves (trials in life) we begin to sink.

  11. Is it not God's ship? Is He not the captain, as opposed to the first mate? I enjoyed your words, but Tennyson's are making us "the captains of our souls". Our lives are His and He is in control.

  12. Love the post and the poem. It is up to us which way we sail. The wind is God, but we have to choose to set the sails to catch Him. Love it! Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Dear Anonymous...
    Thank-you for your comment. I many times thought exactly the way you did, worked it through my brain, and then I left it go...because I realized that we have choices to make and those choices can be guided by God's spirit in our lives....We can't always do something about our circumstances but we have been given the freedom to choose how we respond to the circumstances.
    Thank you for your feedback.

  14. What a wonderful poem to read today. It really was a gift in this moment - thank you.

  15. Thank you for the wonderful analogy this poem provides. God has made us but allows us the choice of how and where to sail. We know that if we choose to follow His directions He'll guide us safely home.

  16. Thank you Marg for sharing these words today. It is definately a welcomed reminder that we are truely never alone and that life is a journey. We must ask ourselves do we want to cast our cares to the wind or to the sea.

  17. pkfontenot@gmail.comJanuary 31, 2011 at 3:08 AM

    Yours is a lovely, inspiring, industrious website that keeps idle hands busy. I love it! Thank you.

  18. Ocean Soul approves that poem! LOL. Yes, we make choices everyday that determine where our ship will go.
    There is a wonderful book called, "First You Have To Row a Little Boat" by Richard Bode. Very insightful, filled with metaphors for life. And God will never make us navigate a ship that he hasn't trained us for, but remember, first you have to row a little boat. How you row the little boat will determine how you handle a bigger boat!

  19. Hi Marg
    Thank you for your gracious response. I do agree with you - we control how we respond to those circumstances and like the Psalm you quoted, we want to praise Him. Our intimacy with Him and knowledge of His Word will be used by the Spirit to guide us. I really enjoyed your words of solid encouragement - but I am still not so sure about Tennyson and his focus. It is very man-centred, not Christ-centred. It must be all about God, not us. I like what you gleaned from it though!


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