Course and discourse – David Stockwell

With the engine up and running, time to set course. To leave Pwllheli behind and move on to new horizons. Slowly edging out between the bouys; coming out to open sea. Setting course for Bardsey Island. 3 people, 2 days, one sea. Time for thought; time for work; time for discourse.

Passing Bardsey Island – 20,000 ‘saints’ buried on this ‘holy’ island: a thin place between earth and heaven. Offering direct entry to heaven. – we set course north for The Isle of Man.

As we travel keeping course is vital. Sometimes using the wind; sometimes the engine (thank God for our engineer and a working engine.)

The wind is coming from the north “on the nose” – the direction we want to travel. We can sail fast with the wind in our sails but west rather than north. Our sailing course continually monitored, adjusted, trimmed. But our discourse is different: it flows freely meandering from topic to topic. Family, the Trinity, social justice, life stories. There’s no map; no satnav; just growing friendship time together to learn and share.

With the course set, our discourse is paused for prayer. We pray for those in need and those in joy. We thank God for his love shown in Christ; listen to stories from the Bible and ask God to mould us and make us with his craftsman hands.

It’s soon time again to check the course; calculate our ETA; hold the wheel and allow the discourse to flow as the waves and sea flow around us, poetry, politics, mission and of course the Celts.

As we progress to Ardrossan, our course and discourse continue. As we encounter other pilgrims on our journey of life, may our course and discourse be glorifying to God and bring us and others to the safe harbour. The true thin place where heaven touches earth at the cross.