Sailing and Slacklining

Mimi GuesdonA.SmlrA - Photo by Peng Liping for chinadaily.com.cn - 9e94440d-265e-40a5-8acc-13cd408ec9dd
Mimi Guesdon (Credit: Peng Liping for chinadaily.com.cn)

Two weeks ago three ladies took part in a competition that I’m not brave enough to try. Taking place at the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in central China’s Hunan Province, they each took on the challenge of walking 55 metres in 5cm heels along a slackline suspended 1300 metres (4265 ft) above the ground. Wearing a safety harness, but with no balancing aids allowed, Mimi Guesdon from France completed the crossing in just nine minutes and 24 seconds to win the 2018 Tianmen Mountain Female High-heeled Highline Challenge. Mia Noblet from Canada finished in 22 minutes and 36 seconds, while Faith Dickey from the USA made three attempts, but didn’t finish.

For successful slacklining the general guidance is to focus on what’s ahead, and not to look down at your feet! Some people have the same approach to life; their eyes are focussed firmly on the future: the winning tape, the finish line and the financial rewards that come after many years of hard work. Despite their best intentions, they often miss what’s happening around them, children growing up, time with the family or the simple pleasure of being still and taking in the beauty of the world around them. In contrast, for others life is a journey with an unknown destination. They savour each experience of life as it happens, learning from the hard times and being grateful for the good.

Surely for a successful life both points of view are important. How empty life would be if we didn’t take time to appreciate the beauty of the people and places around us. Yet we all need a goal. To wander aimlessly through life means we achieve very little, including the means to enjoy a better quality of life.

Do you have a goal – something to aim for? Do you know where you’re going – your final destination? Those who know their Creator have an assurance of a place in eternity – a life beyond this one. Jim Reeves once sang: “This world is not my home; I’m just a-passing through.” Even though we enjoy and make the most of the journey, our hearts are set on seeing our Creator face to face. We battle through the storms of this life, knowing freedom awaits us and, as one writer put it, “a yet more glorious day!”

Sailing” was a huge hit for Rod Stewart. It spent four weeks at Number One in September 1975, but it was first recorded three years earlier by The Sutherland Brothers for their album “Lifeboat”. It was written by Gavin Sutherland, who explained the song’s meaning: “Most people take the song to be about a young guy telling his girl that he’s crossing the Atlantic to be with her. In fact the song’s got nothing to do with romance or ships; it’s an account of mankind’s spiritual odyssey through life on his way to freedom and fulfillment with the Supreme Being.” The song finishes:

“We are sailing, we are sailing
Home again
‘Cross the sea
We are sailing
Stormy waters
To be near you
To be free.

Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free
Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free
Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free.”

We need to take time to appreciate our present … and our future!

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