Set the Sails

“I set out the sails of my heart, here I am here you are”


A handful of people have traveled the circumference of the earth in nothing but a tiny sailboat. Some go in pairs, but many go alone for the beautiful and solitary journey. Laura Dekker is the youngest to circumnavigate the world in a small sailboat she named Guppy. The tough and tender parts of her trip are told in a documentary called Maidentrip. What drew me to her story was the background score of cello sounds by Ben Sollee, but seeing her adventure left me thinking about the guts, grit, and grace it takes to go on such a trip.

Going around the world is quite the voyage and takes more than 80 days by sea. Sailors go months without seeing land or other people, responsible for every part of life on a boat. It can be burdensome, but also rewarding, especially when you catch the wind. The wind can be a soft whisper, gently tussling your hair, telling you a direction. At other times it has a passionate violence, pushing you forward and ripping out the material you thought you needed. Laura lives a simple and slow life on the sailboat, sometimes leading to a total strip down of the mind and soul. She spent a lot of time without the chaos of our current life, just staring at the ocean and all of its mystery.



“Falling is easy, staying in love is hard. Hard to be honest and keep your heart open to be who we truly are”

These types of adventures remind me to remain present and enjoy the simplicity of a life lived in purpose. It was Laura’s dream to sail the world, and though it took a year of obstacles for the plan to take off, she didn’t let it wash away. Instead, she followed the wind and came back to tell a story of courage overcoming fear. The initial thought of an idea brings spurts of passion, but many have been known to abandon those dreams as soon as an opposition rises. We fall in love with our dreams, but the second the world doubts us we lose the love. Instead we hide behind something else. But, with kind words and a bit of elbow grease, we can run for whatever it is that knocks on our hearts. Chasing a dream can reveal our true heart and soul because the dream is hardwired into who we are. When we were just clumps of cells God sang a song of purpose over us.




“There’s no pretending, here in Your love. You’re patient with me, lifting the veil.”

It can be a rough ride, but when you see your dream come together, it is so worth it. We are the most secure in God when we are the most insecure in the world. Setting out on the unknown ocean is like walking on water in a storm when we keep our gaze on the one who holds us together. If we begin to sink, his grace patches the holes in our boat. Even the wind and waves still know his name and he will never hide his face from our kaleidoscope vision.

We don’t know where we are going but our eyes are fixed on you.

Our lives differ from circumnavigators in one way: there is no destination. You could say the shores of heaven is our destination, but even then, our lives will go on for eternity. This truth echoes in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s sentiment: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The more we sail, the closer we get to seeing the face of Jesus.



“I set out the sails of my heart, here I am here you are”

Life is about catching the wind of the spirit and going where it blows. Living on the wind is steeped in risk but dripping in reward.

Today, simply set the sails of your heart and let the wind take you to places you could never imagine.




Related links:

Song Lyrics from “Sails” by Pat Barret

“Setting Sail” Main Title by Ben Sollee

Maidentrip trailer