The Sea of Disobedience: An Allegory
The first thing I heard was the wind whistling against me, so I thought,“I’ll sail slowly into this sea.”
A customary journey in this broken world.
With difficulty, I arrived at the Island of Disciplined Obedience. I wasn’t there long. Having visited it many times, I coasted along, still with difficulty and at that, increasingly so. Dangerous now, along the coasts of What If and Unstirred Affections.
A kind and compassionate voyager passed by and reminded me that with much injury and with much loss, I could make it to The End with joy and unselfish faithfulness. That I would live my life before God in the process.
But other seemingly reputable comrades believed I could keep out at sea, on the chance I could happily AND easily reach the harbor. I chose not to ask its name: Harbor of Stubborn Lack of Surrender.
Pleasure was to be had at sea, which I couldn’t resist after another great wind struck down. I gave way to it and was driven along.
Commending myself, I eventually overcame it , and returned to the Island of Disciplined Obedience, though I could not face the true roots of deception the sea afforded me. Another gentle and wise voyager passed by urgently. I happily took the support, fearing the direction I was headed, though I wished to reject it at the same time instead.
I felt violently tossed about, and darkness became manifest over me. The storm raged on. Hope began to gradually abandon my heart and mind, even while I slept.
What If (that old friend…!) I stayed out here? Like many others I know? I let the thought fully play out. Fierce wolves, foxes — I knew. But I couldn’t deny the seductive power of a king in the sea. It went on like this for a few days.
“What was your intention when you left? To what godly purpose was this journey?”
A voice abounded suddenly in the fury of the sea. I had been asking to hear this Voice. His questions pierce, so much so that I felt His answer even in the question.
“Your seed falls in the rocks every time you set sail. You cut the ropes of hope and love, you let them go, when you get out here. You begin the journey without ever asking if you should go.
“Then you go without food for too long — the food only I, your Redeemer and Friend, supply. You ask for it without wanting its nourishment — to be in my presence. Instead you use it to build selfish strength and boast in your own might.”
Without being coupled with joy, disciplined obedience is not at the heart of this Jesus.
“Rather, this Jesus, a God merciful and gracious, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness who forgives when you miss the mark, when you turn from him. This Jesus wears red so you can wear white. He asks you to rest with him on the Island of Unrequited Love.
“You will never fully understand love like that. But you will still learn more about it increasingly. You can model it to a substantial degree.
“It can never be about disciplines nor about walking alone stubbornly.
“Let me destroy your manmade ship. Stay here with me and learn what Love is. I may build another ship for you later on my authority, not your own.
It was then that I realized I found myself on the Island of Unrequited Love. It was familiar. I missed it here, though I feared it. I knew The Sea of Pleasure, but that is not where my gaze is presently. I know many creatures of instinct who are stumbling through that sea, and sickly I wondered if I would always feel like I’m barely escaping its allure.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance… And count the patience of our Lord as salvation.” (2 Peter 3:9)
It was then I remembered the kind and compassionate voyagers, evidence of His work and His Loving patience all along.
Soon after, I heard the faint whistling of the wind again. This time, I was firmly planted in His arms, sure of His promises, hopeful once again, an eyewitness of His Majesty.