I was one of a few brave and crazy souls who went swimming in the ocean in Delaware this past warm October weekend. It was exhilarating (seventy degrees, cold enough to take my breath away at first, but then as I swam, refreshing and invigorating). The ocean never fails to bring me joy and bring me closer to God. It can be scary too, when a series of huge waves keeps crashing, or when you’re caught in an undertow and feel like you can’t get back to shore. That’s when you just go with the flow, or ride the tide, as they say, until you get through it and get back safely. But what if I was always fearful of the big waves, undertow and cold and never felt the sheer joy of swimming in it? I would miss out. The same holds true I think for following your dreams. If I didn’t take the risk of “putting myself out there” on the page with my writing, I would never feel the joy of discovering I can create a good book, connect with others, and most of all, find fulfillment in following God’s call. But it’s not easy. I get tired, distracted…it’s easier to lay in the sun and read then make the effort to jump in – to the ocean or making those final edits. Columbus said, “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” And he also believed he needed God and needed to do His Will. He said, “I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely” and “No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service.” Just like Columbus, the Israelites had to have courage and faith to reach the Promised Land. Moses told them “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid…for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Dt 31:6-7) Both Columbus and the Israelites made mistakes and sinned numerous times along the way. But they persevered and ultimately reached their destinations. I must not be afraid to take the risk of discovery, to stay focused on my goal, and have faith that God (through the gentle wind of the Holy Spirit) will help me get closer to reaching the next horizon.