I mentioned that I’m re-reading Tim Keller’s The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness (because I forget to be self-forgetful!). Yesterday I read a phrase that hasn’t left me. He’s describing the apostle, Paul:
“He had enormous ballast…”
I immediately pictured a ship on stormy, churning waters, tossed about, but not yielding to the waves, not capsizing — because it’s stable enough to keep upright.
As this word nerd so often does, I checked out ballast on dictionary.com:
I really want that to be true of me — that I have enormous ballast because of what God has done for me in Jesus.
Providentially I listened to a sermon by Tim Keller on Peace last night that furthered my thinking on this. I was driving as I listened, so I plan to sit down with an open Bible and notebook and go through it again. (I highly recommend it to you. Just click here — it’s the first podcast listed at the moment.) Keller talks about the kind of peace that Paul is describing in Philippians 4. And another way of describing that peace is ballast. It’s what allowed Paul to be content no matter his circumstances.
I’ve had real tastes of that peace this past year through hard providences, and God has loaded more ballast on my ship. Slowly, painfully, but surely, I’m learning that that kind of peace — that ballast — comes only when I pursue the source of peace — God Himself.
I want to be like Paul — to have “enormous ballast”.