Day 1 of 10 • This day’s reading

"Forty-Knot Winds and Waking Up to God’s Working"

My wife Michelle and I visited San Francisco in 2013. We were in town to see a new author’s work with the large homeless population in the tenderloin area of the city.

Staying in town a few extra days, we happened to catch the America’s Cup yacht races.

It was there that we first heard the story of Alex Thomson, who had sailed solo-nonstop around the world multiple times. To give some perspective: three thousand people have climbed Mount Everest; five hundred people have been to space; but less than one hundred people have sailed solo nonstop around the world.

Alex had done this multiple times as part of the Vendée Globe, an eighty-day solo race around the world, nearly half of the racers don’t finish the race. Racers cannot get more than twenty minutes of sleep at a time for the duration of the race because they are single-handedly racing such a large boat, which typically takes more than sixteen people to sail. Racers consume more than five thousand calories of freeze-dried food per day and endure a test of will, strength, and stamina that is unparalleled in the sports world. If the boat capsized out in the frigid waters, escape would be virtually impossible . . . he would die.

Thomson shares about this experience, when he’s out in the middle of the ocean all by himself, as the waves pound on every side, he is “overcome with a feeling of smallness. He realizes how insignificant he is in the midst of the surging, awe-inspiring waves.”

This is exactly what happens when we leave the “local shores” of our own churches and denominations and move out to see how God is moving around the world. There are incredible stories happening in Christianity all over the world today. They often do not make national news, but they are happening, and we would be greatly encouraged if we knew of them. All of a sudden we wouldn’t feel so discouraged, insignificant, or isolated in our faith. We would be overwhelmed with joy by how we are part of a much bigger movement of God’s Spirit.