“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” William Ernest Henley.
I remember the moment you told me you had decided to go into the Navy. We were sitting in the living room and you kind of casually mentioned that you were thinking about it. The second you said it I knew it was the right decision for you. I also knew it was the moment you took control of your life.
Remember when you turned 16 and we went to McCormick & Schmick’s? I gave you that silver compass that I had Ephesians 5:15 inscribed on; “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise, but wise.” The reason I gave you that compass is that it is important we have something outside our lives to guide us. The compass always points north, regardless of the circumstances it is placed in, which allows us to use it to guide us and let us know where we stand in relation to true north.
As you man the helm of your life, it is important to have something outside your own frame of control and morality to guide you. As I have mentioned before, I don’t expect you to choose my faith just because I do, but I want to encourage you to seek some standard to measure yourself against. When you navigate a boat you pick the farthest fixed object you can find as your point of reference and work towards it. In life it helps to do the same.
Life is, at best, like the weather. We think we have the power to predict it and plan for it, but in the end, all we can really do is react to it. Plan your journey, but also have a contingency plan. Be prepared when life throws waves & storms at you that take you off course. Don’t forget that for all your planning, you never considered the Navy until a year ago. That was a major course correction that came up fairly abruptly; there will be others.
Choose your path carefully as well. Remember one of our favorite Dwight Schrute quotes: “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ And if they would, I do not do that thing.”
Walk as wise, not unwise.