I believe that we are the captains of our own ships. However, like any good captain who doesn't want to see their ship sink we have to adjust and adapt to the changing environment around us and trust that when we see a lighthouse beacon it means dangerous waters. Or, put another way, we're the captain of our little ship but life is the ocean and no one controls the ocean.
I Like Cecelia's metaphor of the ocean. In truth, nobody can reliably control the circumstances of their lives, it is an ocean as prone to storms as calm waters. Rather it is the control we exercise over our thought life and the efficacy of what we put our faith in that will determine how we experience the journey.