A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor

I’ve been sent that saying, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” (its sometimes attributed to FD Roosevelt), by different people twice in as many days. I’m getting the feeling someone’s trying to tell me something!

One of the emails was a mail shot from a sailing school that I once did some training with. Since then we have also taken our own boat on a couple of their flotillas across the channel. Colin, the skipper, the last trip:

Last year we took eight vessels to Le Havre and we enjoyed weather, a breakdown, great sailing and camaraderie.

Two points to note, first that on this occasion it was not us who broke down (though with an old boat that’s not unknown), and second, he said we enjoyed ‘weather’, he did not say ‘good weather’! That said, it was not as bad as the force 7 that we ‘enjoyed’ on the way back from Holland the previous year. But it can’t have been that bad, we’re thinking about going with them again this year. All good experience and, mostly, great fun.

Learning to cope is part of learning to sail, especially at sea, which is exactly why I started training with Colin in the first place. Developing a skill, whether sailing or anything else requires both training and experience. And yes, sometimes the most valuable (if not the most enjoyable) experience is when the sea gets rough.

Growing up can be a bit like that. Even if you basically enjoy school the tests and exams can be rough. We don’t know much about Jesus’ early life but as an infant, according to Matthew’s account of his life, his family was force to be refugees in Egypt and then had to move around Judea and Galilee (areas of what is now Israel or Palestine) before it was safe for them to settle back down back in Nazareth. Jesus also would have been taught about his faith in the local Synagogue and according to another account of Jesus’ life (written by Luke) he astounded his teachers when he went to Jerusalem at the age of 12. So, may be for him, the exams would not have been such a worry after all.

Have you ever wondered about your faith and wanted to understand more? Sunday mornings are often not a good time for families (especially for those who are members of sailing clubs – most of the races are organised for Sundays!) so we are experimenting with organising events on Saturday evenings at St Nicholas School (at the end of Priory Chase behind ASDA on Rawreth Lane). We are meeting once a month on Saturdays at 5pm with refreshments (a light teatime meal) from 4:30pm.

These services are for all the family, thinking about different aspects of developing faith and with activity and worship to engage people of all ages, adults and children.

In January we think about that story of Jesus aged 12 with the professors in Jerusalem. Over the following three months we will be thinking about how we can learn about our own faith. In February that will be about growing as a community, in March about how we grow together as a family (this will be just before Mothering Sunday so we’ll be thinking especially about our Mums) and, in April, thinking about the Easter story and what Jesus’ execution and then resurrection might mean for us now.

Just as with developing sailing skills, we never stop learning and developing our faith. There is always more to explore, and this is a chance to do it together.

The dates are:

18th January Jesus Growing Up (and a panic for his Mum and Dad)

8th February Growing Together

21st March     Family – Growing in Love (Mothering Sunday)

25th April       Easter – Growing in Faith

We meet for refreshments (a light tea) at 4:30 and activities will start at 5pm, we will be finished by 6pm. We hope to see you there!

Happy Sailing … or whatever you do for fun.