I AM A FULLY FOUND VESSEL
BY: SUNNY ORLY COFFMAN
MARCH 23, 2004
As I’m walking through what the world would call a tragedy, I’m far too filled with gratitude for having had the life of my precious husband spared in a motorcycle accident about 72 hours ago – to waste any time focusing on negatives.
There’s a song from the 1940’s – the words are flooding my thoughts right now – “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.” That’s quite a spiritual lifestyle to attain. The key word to attaining it is Faith.
I’ve walked in a lot of places with the Lord on this journey of LIFE, LIGHT, and LOVE. He has charted each step for me. Some of the vehicles that have carried me through what appeared, many times, to be “uncharted territory” included cars, motorcycles, bicycles, roller skates, motor homes, a private bus, jet airplanes, prop airplanes, helicopters, hover-craft, limousines, horseback, ferries, and even afoot.
But, by far, the most enjoyable form of travel for me has been via sailboat. I was blessed to live aboard boats for a period of my life and also to have a season of sailing a different vessel every weekend for more than a year. I enjoy peace and quiet far too much to be an avid enthusiast of powerboats. It’s that wonderful ability to be moving, but doing it quietly, that draws me to this special way of life.
When the Lord “nudged” me to write this article, He showed me the title first. I understand that many readers who have never participated in the pleasure of sailing might not be familiar with the terminology. But in the boating world – to describe a vessel as being “fully found” simply means that all of the necessities for proper mechanical function, as well as creature comforts for its occupants, are already present on-board. This knowledge is obviously necessary before making any type of passage… be it across a small channel or across an ocean.
As I began this writing, an awareness came to me… that as we who are spiritual creatures placed in an earth suit, sent on this physical journey – given an opportunity to develop more fully in the spiritual realm – amid much friction from the fleshly realm – have not been sent here without being “fully-found” by our Abba Father. He has already given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” We have been thoroughly out-fitted for the fulfillment of our earthly mission.
The various ingredients included in our “tool box” do not necessarily include great wealth, impressive worldly education, possession of lavish physical furnishings – but are rather the perfect set of tools issued for our own specific assignments. Some of the basic issues include: Love, Joy, Peace, Grace, Mercy, Long-suffering, Patience, Kindness, Meekness, and Gentleness.
We have each been furnished a heart thoroughly tuned to Abba’s heart and a mind-set tuned to His ever-broadcasting directional finder.
We are given an abundant supply of His LIGHT, so we can find His Way for our journey. We have been given His LIFE, so we can live above the realm of earthly circumstances and we have been given LOVE [Himself] so we can relate to those around us.
I believe this above description is of His Children who have been brought through a journey on the high seas. We call it in the sailing world – a “shake-down cruise” – perhaps a weekend run from one island to another – in preparation for a longer passage. This initial passage gives opportunity to discover any essential equipment still lacking on the vessel before setting off for a long voyage ahead. A soldier being trained for military action might akin this to boot camp.
Today many are on Father’s “shake down cruise” and all kinds of evaluations are being made – lots of unnecessary equipment is being off-loaded to make space for more useful tools and equipment required for
the longer trip coming soon. Still more items are being added to strengthen, fortify and better equip each crew member – so more full cooperation may be experienced by all aboard. Each crew member is now given the opportunity of receiving fine-tuning [confirmations of the details of his own position to occupy on the trip]… necessary for a higher level of proficient operation for all. Leadership skills are honed to a greater sharpness and trust is established throughout the ranks as greater respect and trust increase for the Captain.
On an ocean-going voyage authority must be established and total cooperation must prevail among the ranks. Seldom is there much discussion time – as changes are a way of life: changes in weather patterns, tides – always to be dealt with – not to mention the ever-present opportunity of equipment failures.
Every crew member on the vessel is bound for the same port, but each person’s duties are different. Each crew member’s personal needs are very different. Yet Love and the fruits of Love – patience, long-suffering and kindness, are the oils that produce smooth sailing without any hang-ups, hindrances, and wrong turns.
We have been given hope of “safe mooring” and we have been assured the Captain is not going to leave us or forsake us on this journey. But we have not been promised continual “smooth sailing.” In fact, quite the opposite can be expected.
There will always be obstacles to overcome – each a specific challenge sent to purge and strengthen us in a needed area – but we are never alone – even in the challenge – even though we may feel an aloneness, that itself is even a test to not trust our feelings, but to trust His promises.
Watches, in the sailing world, are not wrist-type time-keepers; but are rather assigned times of duty on-board a moving vessel. Everyone is not on watch at the same time, thereby giving time for proper rest and relaxation. Everyone takes his turn at watch – as much wisdom is needed in the times of rest as in the times of being “on-call” at a duty roster.
Getting the proper rest enables restoration of mental acuities and is essential in making wise decisions during a watch on deck. Balance in all areas insures victory for everyone on-board.
I AM A FULLY FOUND VESSEL [Sunny Orly Coffman] 3-23-04 1