Facing the uncertainty of mid-life, a pastor sets out to learn to sail and ends up learning to navigate his way through the biggest challenges and changes in his life
There are journeys in life we would never choose to take, but we do so anyway, because we know that our lives depend on our taking them. In a tippy little boat, on a tiny lake in downtown Seattle, I learned to sail. I discovered a practice that helped me let go of the life I had and discover a new life I’d never imagined. Along the way, I crashed into waves of grief and despair but did not drown. I was tossed by anxiety but did not die. Instead, I discovered parts of myself I’d never dared to embrace. Eventually, I learned what was on the other side of letting go.
Facing the uncertainty of mid-life, a pastor sets out to learn to sail and ends up learning to navigate his way through the biggest challenges and changes in his life.
We often marvel at those who rush headlong into the unknown, those who embrace adventure and live with largesse, but how do they actually find their way? Are they born fearless, already knowing who they are and where to go? Or are they just learning as they explore, ever in search of a life that is deeper, wider?
TESTING THE WIND is the story of one man’s journey through transitions, lesson by lesson, one discovery at a time. In stepping off the dock of his familiar life, Peter learns how to trust in the unfolding, opening of life itself, to let go and use the wind to take him out onto the next tide of his life.
With humor and humility, Peter’s personal path to self-understanding and self- acceptance encourages us all to lean into the call to grow and change. It invites us to look at the larger meaning in our own small stories so that we might write a bigger story of the fuller, more complex and content people we can become.
Sailors test the wind, while the wind is testing them. You struggle to read wind and wave as you are buffeted, veering, yawing, praying with sail and tiller. In this account of life change, Peter Ilgenfritz doesn’t hug the shore, but sets out to be tested. Why does he need to escape the good life he has created by middle age, leaving his successful job, long relationship, and a known identity behind? Simple: his formation requires it. So he sets sail. And in this book, as you leave the shore with this pilot, you may remember your own oblique dreams that summon you out to a deeper life of your own.
—Kim Stafford, author of Wild Honey, Tough Salt