“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd*
Regardless of who originally said the quote, it’s come up a lot in my life recently. And I don’t mean a couple of times. At one point I was hearing it or reading it every day from a variety of folks that I respect and follow.
Some years ago, I used to have “themes” to each year of my life. Typically I’d use a color association and an overarching idea. It helped me to remember what the focus of that year was for me. I’d say it was sort of like goals, but a little less concrete than having a goal, and usually a very intimate theme between God and myself. For example, I struggled frequently with pride (not sure why I bothered putting that in the past tense), and I’ve a couple of years of themes about “humility” and not being prideful. One year was a theme of God simply telling me to be honest.
Yet in time, this habit of mine faded. Life changed a lot, and simply put I just didn’t have the time to analyze these annual theme ideas. Which, at first I thought they weren’t doing much, but as time has gone on, I’ve come to realize they were very helpful in reminding me of what my overarching focus for my character in Christ needed to strive for.
This all being said, God has clearly been setting the theme for this year for me. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” has been churning in my head constantly. In December, I read the entire book of Acts, and this quote kept coming up in my mind every time Paul was sailing.
So I’m welcoming 2015 with the theme of Ships, and in particular this quote. Wish me well on this journey!
Also – I know very little about ships, so part of this year’s theme will require some research. If you know a lot about ships and love to talk about them, please feel free to indulge me with your thoughts and research, and if there are any websites or books you would recommend.
Do you have any kind of annual theme for your own life? What is your 2015 theme or focus?
*To note: some people have also used Grace Hopper, and William G. T. Shedd as the original authors of the quote. I went with this article.