Block and Tackle

A sailing ship needs all the rigging to catch the wind and set sail!

What do you observe when you see a sailing ship with its massive sails and webs of ropes? What does each strand do; how does each chord contribute to setting sail?

I couldn’t tell you. I admire the minds that concocted these networks of cables to raise and lower booms and sails. It is enough to see what I can do to be among her crew.

The Rigging for the Spiritual Journey

A number of years ago I was in a “listening prayer” seminar where we were asked to prayerfully listen for a word from God for someone nearby. This image came to mind, and this is what I wrote for the unknown person:

You are the block and tackle:

You are the equipment and rigging to raise the sails; not to put wind into them – but to be used in order that they may catch the wind!

The block and tackle allow an efficiency to raise the heavy sails due to the pulleys that maximize the energy.

Dec 2, 2013


Little did I anticipate that the facilitator would then reveal the person for whom I was  listening so intently: myself!

I was caught. I gave a laughter of recognition. Of course – this is me.

I’ve thought about this image many times since that day; and in many ways I’ve seen the way God uses me as block & tackle in the lives of other people. And I rejoice in this role; I relish being the rigging that helps others catch the wind; I am content in being equipped – and – in equipping others to raise sail and be on the journey.

There are others in my life who are ballast – the substance of stability and balance for rough seas. Others have been the sails – who take off on what looks like the slightest of winds, while others serve to rudder the course. All to say, it takes the whole crew to set sail, and each member is indispensable to the task.

In Christ we, though many, for one body, and each member belongs to all the others.     Romans 12:5


Now let us raise sail and shove off!

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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