Olivia Rolando writes…

Some days you find yourself having a major clarifying moment.

Olivia enjoys the hugs of a new friend in the apartment complex where she is spending the summer on a medical immersion.

One that you begin to process and realize that it provides you with a sense of contentment, as if your life makes more sense. I have always struggled with being able to give up my idea of personal control, for both where I have been and where I feel I am heading. I am drawn to think that I am the sole captain of my ship. After varied events of this past year, I am still trying to remember what phrase I happened to Google to find Siloam and this medical immersion. By grace, my current surroundings and encounters have stirred me to believe that I am actually not the captain, but simply a sailor.

We all build a plastic tree. This tree illustrates what our picture perfect life would look like according to our own thoughts and feelings. My plastic tree is simply described by a white picket fence. I see an established career, husband, a family, a sense of purpose, being respected, and living “that” life. Naturally, I guess I should include a golden-doodle in the yard, too. I could continue to strive to grow this plastic tree. Yet, at the end of the day, my plastic tree shows no potential for change. There is an end point; it is unfulfilling. Plastic trees are cared for by a wanderer.

How beautiful would it be to leave the plastic tree behind and instead begin growing a rooted tree? A tree that cannot be taken down by adversity and struggle due to being rooted in unwavering compassion and love is the only type that is able to sustain life. What freedom would be experienced to rest in another’s plan, instead of obsessing over where I need to be heading to have that white fence.

A rooted tree provides you answers to the question, “Why are you doing what you are doing?” This is the transition I see infiltrating my recent thoughts. I know I cannot simply flip from my plastic tree to the stable, rooted one. However, I can make an effort every day to be open to receiving and nurturing my strength to follow the path less traveled. I have to swim upstream. I often say, “You only live once.” My clarifying moment gave me the sense that if you only live once, why would you want to live any life other than the one planned for you? This life draws upon your gifts and may not always send you in the direction you thought you would go, but in the one that as much as you need it, it needs you. My plan for my life, my plastic tree, is not the path I want to foster.

For now, I desire to be a sailor that could not be luckier to stay afloat, have Him as my Captain, and get to experience the voyage I’m merely 22 years into. If the winds call for switching the sails, I hope I rise to meet that with a smile. Here is to far more red sky at night, than in the morning. May your voyage have deep, deep roots.   Isaiah 30:21:  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

One thought on “Sailing

  1. What a beautiful wisdom filled reflection! I can use this directly in my life and I’m sure others who read this will find it useful in their life journey as well. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, feelings and the insight you are gaining while living in the Siloam community. Love, Mom

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