"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, January 21, 2005

Funyakking with God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't rely in your own understanding of things. Don't try to be as wise as you think you should be and He will direct your way in life." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I recently spent a weekend on the river with a bunch of 11th graders from the church. Besides the river, we also camped out alongside the river on what we thought was high ground until the rains came along about 10:30 that night. I never realized so many people could sleep in a church van and a utility trailer.

I learned a lot of life lessons in those two days. One is that I really enjoyed camping. It had been a long time since I had actually camped in a tent in a sleeping bag on the ground (as opposed to my normal camping at a rented condo or Hampton Inn). I also enjoyed camp food...the smell of the fire, the wonderful aroma of grilling chicken and vegetables, the fellowship you find while making smores, etc. Of course, I quickly remembered why you don't put your tent with the doorway facing the fire....the wind is gonna eventually shift directions.

But, I was reminded of one of God's most important lessons while funyaking down the river. It wasn't a high skill level trek, but with all the recent rains, the river and rapids were a little faster than prior years. One of the primary goals when funyakking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting or tubing is to try and hit the rapids going forward because you can see your way clearer for paddling and you are also exposing less of your craft and your body to the rocks and the water rushing. Knowing this and doing this are two separate things, as I learned. My funyak partner and I tried our best to keep our craft straight and true, but no matter how hard we paddled, we would hit those rapids sideways and get drenched and almost tossed out. However, as we began to get our rhythms of paddling together and correctly, we were able to keep straight and flow through the turbulence with less turmoil.

Do you see where I'm going? Probably not, so here is what I learned or at least remembered. When we hit the storms and trials of life head on with our paddles in rhythm with God, then we can come through with less mess than when our lives are out of rhythm with Him. We still get wet and tossed, but with God as our partner, we will come through. When we try to do our own thing and leave God on the shore is when we are buffeted and drenched and thrown from our comfort places. Sometimes we survive, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we just have to ride home in a van full of wet soggy teenagers who smell like feet.

We all hit the rapids and waterfalls of life. It is inevitable. It may be a divorce, a death in the family, stress on the job, a job loss, and physical or emotional illnesses, whatever. Trust God even when you don't feel His presence in your life. He is always there waiting for you to trust Him with your rapids and waterfalls. Just don't forget to thank Him when you hit the smooth waters.


At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, just what I needed!

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Janice said...

Your story almost makes me want to go camping. Notice I said "amlmost." I'm not a camper, but your trip sounded like fun. Good analogy, too.


At 7:01 PM, Blogger Shelly Kay said...

Have you read the 'Conversations with God' series? I think you would really enjoy them. They changed my life and how I viewed my relationship with God.
Take Care.~


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