By Jennifer Williams, Contributor, US Daily Review.
When I was in high school, my mother was part owner of the Silver Springs Airport in Silver Springs, Florida. The airport no longer exists but its existence in my life left a deep impression. My mother was 38 when she had me. I already had two teen-aged siblings when I was born. And at 53, my mother took up flying. She always loved to fly. It was one of those side benefits of owning a small airport. It was originally constructed to bring in the cast and crew of the old Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies. They filmed at Silver Springs. So we owned a piece of history, too. I worked summers at the airport while we had it. It was life-altering in many ways. While I never took the skies (although I loved flying), my mother seemed timeless in her pursuits. She never did age, from that perspective. And now, at 46, I am moving forward on my own new pursuit – licensed boat captain and eventually my master’s license for 25/50/100-ton vessels. This is the craziest idea I’ve ever had.
A few people are buying crazy these days. My husband is supportive and with his naval sea time, he already has me beat in the sea service time department. He has decided he will follow my footsteps but has graciously allowed me to strike out first. We don’t own a boat, but I already have a boat to borrow. And I will add up sea service time this summer. The paperwork that goes with this process is mind-boggling and I am going to contact our local Coast Guard auxiliary for some assistance in the process. I will take the courses needed when I have more sea time and I’m close to the required 360 days (including 90 days on the Great Lakes), possibly next spring. In the meantime, I have other courses to take through the Sandusky (Ohio) Power Squadron unit that will help sharpen those skills I have let lapse. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the water for any length of time. I spent last summer on the Alaska Marine Highway as a naturalist with the Forest Service. Unfortunately, that sea time does not count. But it rekindled my love of being on the water. I have a mentor in a friend who is a captain on the Alaska Marine Highway. There is much hard, serious work to do in the midst of the romanticism of being on the water.
At times, God brings us opportunities and ideas and we hesitate because we want to know these are of God, that we are doing His will. And those ideas involve time and money in sometimes gut-wrenchingly hard ways. In the past few years, I’ve had unusual opportunities to show His presence to others. I have not always done it well but He continually shows me that I can do all things in Him. I went through a period where my faith was shaken badly…if I relied on others to restore that faith, I would still be shaken. But I reached out again to God and He made it clear that I need rely on Him. I do not do that perfectly – none of us do. But the bits and pieces fall into place and I see the puzzle pieces of my life become a clearer picture. Some of the ideas are WAY outside our comfort zone. They are impossible ideas. They are crazy and radical ideas. God needs you though. It’s scary prospect when you are called…SCARY. You don’t want to mess it up. But always be in prayer, surround yourself with support and know that someone is out there who will buy the kind of crazy you are selling. We are sent into the world in non-traditional ways, to be a light pushing into the darkness and hope where this is only despair. Consider what God is asking you to do today. He may want you to walk on water…but I would suggest a boat.
Jennifer Williams is adjunct faculty in American History at Ashland (OH) University and the American Public University System. She is also the teaching chef for the New Day Family Resource Center in Sandusky, Ohio. Her interests are photography and curling. She lives with her family in Norwalk, Ohio.