If you have read my Alaskan Tour journal this will seem a familiar description. I just kept thinking about this analogy and finally wrote a short article for my devotion for the column I write for the local paper. If you remember this, that's good I guess :-) if you don't that's good too. The spiritual comparison is what I truly wanted my readers to think about. Comments are always welcome. Blessings Clella
We pushed off, floated quite peacefully for a bit and just as I began to relax I saw it-white swirling waves jumping high over rocks. We hit them (the waves not the rocks). And the 32 degree water hit me full in the face.
During our train trip to Denali we had been given information about optional excursions which would be available once we reached the McKinley village. An 11 mile canyon white water excursion was one of the choices, and at my dear husband’s suggestion I agreed to sign up for this trip although we did not make the reservations before our arrival. (I thought perhaps he would change his mind, or it would be too late, or God would send a snow storm. It was getting colder all the time.)
After our arrival at the Lodge, it was time to buythe tickets for the white-water rafting. Of course they were still available (why would I have doubted). My stomach had this familiar knot that I get each time I attempt something I have never done before, but the bus arrived at the river’s edge and we joined about thirty other people, removed our shoes and donned wet suits.(or dry suits ). Now, a sight to behold is me in a suit of rubber that fits skin tight, a stocking cap that keeps falling in my eyes and an orange life jacket strapped around my middle section. We had no room for cameras for which I will be eternally grateful. After a very serious lecture about what to do if we fell out of the raft, how to stay afloat and how they would attempt to get a person back into the raft, I knew I had made a terrible decision. Too late. We were ready to board.
Another couple joined us at the front of the rubber boat. Four in front (us) and four in back- with a young man (very young I thought) who supposedly was capable of getting this group through the rapids of the river. He talked constantly to the women in the back, and I was sure he wasn’t paying a bit of attention to what was happening. And then the water hit us.
I loved it! After the first cold shock, I loved every minute of the three hour trip down through the canyon. Many people in our group went to a local dinner theater. Think what they missed.
I have thought since then, how comparable to our spiritual journey. Some of us stay on the bank and wish we had the courage to go out into rough water. What may appear as spiritual white water rapids to one person may be calm water to another. Some find it difficult to face a crowd and others view personal one-on-one witnessing with absolute terror. (Rather like me when I got into the rubber raft). So often we stand on the banks of life afraid to step out of our safety zone. As we attempt to live more like Christ, we realize many opportunities for service and spiritual growth surround us, but they appear quite frightening.
Daily Bible study is hard and to share our knowledge with others is even more difficult. For a long time I just did the Bible study and stood on the bank afraid to share. What a wonderful trip I had when I finally decided to go into the rougher waters of leading a Bible study group. I have talked with people who dreaded visiting the nursing home and yet once they did found great rewards from the visit. Time and again the things we thought we could not do become a source of pride and joy once we attempt them. My challenge as you walk this week is to step off the bank. Try one exciting, fearful small deed. You may enjoy it once you start. Go ahead-Try it.