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Word Press Daily Post: Reach

I like this word—Reach. There’s “Reach for the Stars,” “Reach Out and Touch Someone,” and “Reach your Goals.” All clichés, though good ones. I think often in sailing terms. A reach is a point of sail. Points of sail are the angles of the wind coming over the boat relative to the bow.

Points of Sail

Points of Sail. Courtesy of School of Sailing Net

Close Reach. When the wind comes from just forward of the boat’s centerline this is a close reach. This point of sail is considered to make the best use of the wind, and be the fastest point of sail. Trimming the sails is critical for speed in this point of sail.

Reach. Wind coming across the centerline is a reach. Sail trim is still critical. In a ruff sea, with waves breaking, this would be a very dangerous point of sail, as a wave can knock a boat down.

Broad Reach. When the wind comes just aft, or behind, the centerline it is a broad reach. With this point of sail, trimming of the sail is much less critical.

Trimming the sails. No, this is not done with scissors. It’s not like trimming a turkey, either. It’s making small adjustments to all sails so that the boat most efficiently uses the wind, producing maximum speed.

Take a look at the diagram. When the wind is straight ahead, coming across the bow, there is no sailing possible. If my destination is directly ahead, and the wind comes from that direction, too, I can’t sail that way. That doesn’t mean I can’t get there, however. It means I will need to sail either to the right or to left by about 40 degrees or so. I will sail that way for a while, then sail in the other direction for a while. This will make a zig-zag course making slower progress to my destination, but still making getting there possible.

So what’s it all mean if you’re not a sailor? Take “Reach for your goal,” for instance. You’re looking straight at your goal, but their are obstacles in the way. “You can’t get there from here!”  You’re not suppose to be discouraged. Just find a way through, or over, or around, the obstacles. Great. You set your sight on another intermediate goal, and head that way. If you loose sight of your overall goal, how do you know when to turn? How do you know the direction to take after you turn? You need guidance. You need help. You need to know where you are, and you need to know when you are at a point at which you may turn toward your goal.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
—Psalm 121: 1,2.

As a child, much of our direction, our guidance, came from our parents, or other guardians in our lives. As adults, many people develop relationships with other people whom they can trust. But when we are alone, no family, no friends, from where will our help come? The Psalmist writes that we are to look to the LORD, the One Who made Heaven and Earth. And while adults most often have help in their friends if they are available, as the following commentary points out, “one should turn only to G-d for assistance.

“Psalm 121, which ranks among the more famous chapters of Tehillim, is recited in Sephardic communities each evening during the Arvit service, and is also customarily recited during any time of danger or potentially dangerous situation, including long trips.  Indeed, the opening verses vividly capture the Jewish perspective on how to respond during times of trouble: “I raise my eyes to the mountains – from where shall my help come?  My help is from God…”  The message of this chapter is, simply enough, that one should turn only to God for assistance.  Rather than look around “to the mountains” in search of help, one need only to lift his eyes to his Father in heaven and beseech Him for protection.

“This Psalm mentions a number of aspects of God’s protection that set it fundamentally apart from the protection that human beings can afford.  For one thing, He is the “Maker of heaven and earth” (verse 2) and thus has unlimited power over the world, such that He is capable of rescuing a person from any predicament.  Additionally, the Almighty “neither sleeps nor slumbers” (verse 4); human guards are only as effective as their limited supply of strength and stamina, while the “Guardian of Israel” offers endless protection.  Similarly, God can protect “from now and forever” (verse 8), as opposed to human guardians whose physical strength gradually declines until they eventually pass on.  God’s protection has no limits in time or substance, and it is thus His protection one should endeavor to invoke when facing danger or crisis.”
Daily Tehillium 

Let us reach out to the Lord Y’shuaJesus for assurance of our position, for the direction to head, for assistance in finding our true goal, the goal of our life.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .