By Robert Halsey Pine
God’s mission was coming to fruition: “And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:1-13 NRSV).
John baptized Jesus and as He came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down on Him. John was baptizing people as repentance for the forgiveness of their sins. John tells us that Jesus, “will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.” We must persevere in Christ so that the Holy Spirit can say of us, “…with you I am well pleased.”
Many years ago the letters “WWJD” began appearing everywhere. They are on t-shirts, license plates and all over the social media. Hopefully, those letters have not lost any of their meaning: “What Would Jesus Do.” Doing what Jesus would do, pleasing God, is what it’s all about. Deep down we always know whether or not we are pleasing God. Yes, we try to fool God and ourselves sometimes, but we know better.
It’s full-time work keeping ourselves on God’s course for us. Being a sea captain is like our Godly navigation. The storms and rough seas on our life journey can be formidable. As sure as the captain steps away from the wheel when the seas are calm, the wind and waves pick up and send the ship off course. So it is in our lives.
We must be attentive to the wheel of our life. How we move and adjust our rudder determines where we go. Think of your daily life with the Heavenly Father as a ship, with a wheel that needs almost constant attention. Start early in the day setting your course with prayers and meditations. Through the day make course adjustments as you come upon things that you didn’t anticipate. In the evening, anchor down with some spiritual nourishment and lower your sails, to be safe through the night. Navigating in the Holy Sea is challenging, but rewarding. If we stay on course, He will be “well pleased.”
“O Trinity of love and power, thy children shield in danger’s hour; from rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect them where so e’er they go; thus evermore shall rise to thee glad hymns of praise from land and sea.” (Hymn, Eternal Father, verse 4: words by William Whiting, 1825-1878, alt.)
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.