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by Mackenzie Shaver on October 20, 2015
Last year at this time, I was pursuing the possibility of moving across the globe to teach at a school in Germany. My heart would get so excited thinking about the idea of going on an adventure to a place where the language was not that of my own. Several things happened moving me in that direction, however, as I look back on that time, I believe that I was being guided by the superficial desires of my heart. The desires from the world that wanted to say I was living an adventure, to be able to say that I could go and live in a foreign country on my own, etc. At that time in my life, the wind that was guiding me was “feeling” rather than the call of God. Instead of teaching abroad or even teaching in Austin, God called me to make a decision to follow His guidance alone—even if I was terrified. I never imagined I would be sitting here today in Hideaway, the cabin we call home, writing about my journey in the Legacy Fellowship at Sky Ranch; but here I am.
And the truth I want to share about the direction God gave me and is giving me is this: Make Jesus the Captain of your soul, and He will lead you through waters and lands uncharted in order to reveal that His purpose, love, and mercy has no boundaries for you.
As we are now two months into the Fellowship, I am realizing this theme of making Jesus my Captain is a reoccurring one—one that is almost an everyday, maybe an every moment, choice. There are many things fighting for control of the sails of my heart and soul. If I am not submitted to the command of Jesus as my Captain, then I will begin to allow the opinion of people to move me off course. In a moment of frustration, I will speak an unkind word. If I care too much about winning the approval of people around me, I will dwell in insecurity and self-pity rather than looking to the needs of those around me. When Jesus is guiding my sails rather than people, I lose sight of my own insecurities, and I realize the person sitting next to me may have the same fears or insecurities and may need truth spoken into them just as much I do.
When my body is tired, exhaustion pulls my sails off course. In a moment of exhaustion, I will shut down and not speak a word of encouragement to the person working beside me. I will allow being tired to dictate my words and decisions. When I allow physical exhaustion or mental exhaustion to control me, moving tables, teaching classes, and lifeguarding become tasks rather than a joy. However, when Jesus is guiding my sails rather than exhaustion, every job holds purpose and eternal significance.
Discontentment can also pull me off course. I become so focused on the little details of the voyage—the way the ship is made, where it is taking me, if the ship will be enough to get me there, whether or not I need to take control because the voyage is not going exactly how I had planned, etc. It is only when I remember Jesus is the one in control of the ship that I can rest in contentment. When I see Him standing there in full control, giving me a knowing smile, my heart rests. I remember in the moments when I am reading His words that He is in control. He has a plan. He knows the waters. He has purpose for every wave we cross. And the most beautiful truth is that He is the Captain. I have simply to dwell and abide in the security of His leadership, His presence, His words, and His direction.
The song “Captain” by Hillsong United has been an anthem of this season for me.
Through waters uncharted my soul will embark
I’ll follow Your voice straight into the dark
And if from the course You intend I depart
Speak to the sails of my wandering heart
Like the wind You’ll guide
Clear the skies before me
And I’ll glide this open sea
Like the stars Your Word will align my voyage
And remind me where I’ve been and where I am going
Lost in the shallows amidst fear and fog
Your truth is the compass that points me back north
Jesus, my Captain
My soul’s trusted Lord
All my allegiance is rightfully Yours
I can tell you that my soul is secure in the end result of the voyage. I know I am headed to a land where I will forever dwell with my Creator God for eternity because Jesus has come with the ship of salvation. However, I can also tell you that I do not always live with a daily allegiance to Jesus as the Captain. There are days of doubt, discouragement, or rebellion. The Lord has used the Fellowship with my 13 other Fellows around me to remind me where I have been, where I am going, and to trust in the Captain Jesus Christ, who knows the course we are taking and exactly how many days the voyage will take.
Who or what is captain of your soul?
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