Whenever we visit Maidens, my wife enjoys catching
sight of The Madeira Cake. Its the name she prefers for the
small island of Ailsa Craig, lying off-shore from Girvan in the Firth of
This island is also called Paddy’s Mile Stone.
It got this name from Irish workers sailing from Glasgow to Ireland, after
months of labour in Scotland. Ailsa Craig was their marker. From
it, they felt set for home. It can be a pleasant voyage or so very stormy.
Even modern ferries will cancel trips until gales drop.
Were those workers of a hundred years ago worried about
the storms or did the anticipation of home and family override fears of
high winds and turbulent seas?
I pondered the crossing’s similarity to life.
Frequently it is a calm, pleasant voyage. Like life experiences we enjoy -
satisfying days when everything goes well. But there are those dark, grey
days when life blows chill. Days when nothing is right, we are tossed all
over the place and it seems we’ll never reach a safe haven.
In the Book of Proverbs
King Solomon wrote,
Fear of man will
prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
Most of us know that fearfulness usually trails its problems. How often we
hear the advice don’t be afraid. But that’s easier said than done.
A common alternative advised is self-confidence.
It often works, but not always. The wise old king, though not without his
own errors, knew that Trusting God always led to safety. No storm
is too powerful for God to sail against.