Harboring Ill Feelings

There was once a little boy who dreamed of sailing around the world. He shared his dream with his mother and father, his teachers and schoolmates, his minister and his friends. But instead of embracing his dreams and encouraging him to follow his heart's desire, they made fun of him, laughed at him and belittled his vision.

“You will never sail around the world,” his father scoffed. “When you are of age, I will get you a job at the factory where I work and you will follow in my footsteps.”

“But I don't want to follow in your footsteps, I want to sail on the open seas and visit new lands,” the little lad protested. The father just laughed and shook his head, showing no faith in his son or his dreams.

The kids at school also made fun of him, so much so, that he stopped sharing his thoughts and desires and kept them hid within his heart, until the time arrived, when he could make them a reality.

It seemed that the world's thumb was pressing the boy down throughout his adolescence. Within fifteen years, the boy became a man. He had worked two jobs night and day saving his money, so he could put a down payment on a sailboat.

He answered an ad in the newspaper and set up a meeting with the owner of a sailboat at the local harbor. The young man bought the boat on site and immediately paid the down payment and signed the sales agreement. He was so happy he began to share the news with everyone he knew. They were surprised to say the least and wished him well, while never admitting they were wrong. But he didn't care, because now, he owned his own sailboat.

The next day, he went to the harbor intending to take his boat out on the water, when he saw official looking men surrounding his newly purchased sailboat. The men were federal agents who were preparing to seize the boat. The man who sold the boat was a con man and drug runner and the boat was now being confiscated in a federal drug sting operation.

The young man had lost his life's savings. He was horrified! The federal agents said they would be back in the morning to take possession of the boat and left without even showing concern for the young man's loss. As the young man was leaving, the harbormaster presented him with a bill in the amount of twelve hundred dollars for past docking fees, owed by the previous owner.

This was the last straw. The young man cursed the harbormaster and left. He came back later with a can of black spray paint and painted over the sign on the boat, which displayed the boat's name, “Serenity”. He then wrote the new name he was now giving the boat, “Ill Feelings”. He got on the boat and started to sail out to sea. If he could have the boat for only one night, then he was going to sail it.

The harbormaster waved his arms and yelled for the young man to stop, that there was a storm coming. But the young man just cursed him again and continued heading out to see.

Sure enough, after sailing ten miles out a storm over took the boat, tossing it from side to side. The young man frantically headed the boat back to shore. When he was a mile from the harbor, he radioed the harbormaster and asked him to prepare for his docking. The harbormaster told him no, that he wouldn't let him dock at his harbor.

“Was it because of what I said,” the young man said in desperation!

“No, I never hold a grudge,” the harbormaster said. “One thing is for sure … I never harbor ill feelings!”

Moral: Harboring ill feelings always leads to stormy weather!

These spiritual stories were written by Mark Edgemon who has been writing for 30 years. He writes and publishes short stories, articles, poetry and scripts as well as, produces audio comedy productions for over 700 radio stations nationwide.

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