When Bill Pinkney sailed solo around the world in 1992—taking the hard route around the perilous Great Southern Capes—he did it for a higher purpose. His voyage was to inspire and educate children. That included students at his former inner-city Chicago elementary school. His goal? To show how far they could go by studying hard and making a commitment—the word he chose in naming his boat. When Bill takes schoolkids on the water in Commitment, he says, “They’ve got that tiller in their hand and they learn about control, self-control, they learn about teamwork . . . all the basics that one needs in life to be successful.”
Pinkney’s words paint a portrait of Solomon’s wisdom. “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). He invited others to examine their life goals. Otherwise, “it is a trap,” said Solomon, “to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows” (v. 25).
In contrast, William Pinkney had a clear purpose that eventually inspired thirty thousand students across the United States to learn from his journey. He became the first African American inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. “Kids were watching,” he said. With similar purpose, let’s set our course by the deep counsel of God’s instructions to us.