I got to do something new and exciting last week. It was something I had always wanted to try, but for whatever the reason, just hadn’t. I went white water rafting! Now, before you start envisioning too many rapids, let me explain that the rapids were mostly class I and II. In other words, it was pretty mild. Which was just enough for me! I thoroughly enjoyed it and want to go again!
Our guide was young and capable. The best friend and I are….not. There were also five other people in the boat. I assumed there would be a lot of paddling, but there wasn’t. What surprised me was that the times we would need to paddle weren’t when the river was moving slowly, it was when the river was swift and the boat was jumping around and hitting rocks. What I learned was that while the water is moving us slowly down the river and all is calm, all that’s needed are a few well guided strokes from the guide to keep us on track. He would only need to shift us right or left to avoid rocks and such. But, when the water was swift, we had to be alert. The guide was almost constantly using his paddle to guide us and needed us to paddle to direct the boat in the proper way. Otherwise, we would hit a rock, the boat would jerk and one (or all) of us could fall out.
Oh. Kind of like life.
Did you ever think about it? When life is smooth and easy, you just live it. You spend regular time with God. You pray and read the Word and go to church. And that’s enough. But, life is never smooth all the time. As we’ve discussed here before, life is all about seasons. And some seasons come with rough water! When you hit that patch of rapids, you can’t sit back and relax. It requires more effort. More time praying. More time in the Word. More time focusing on what God may be speaking to you.
As I look at the gospels, I see it was no different for Jesus Himself. He was always in touch with the Father, always praying, teaching, thinking on things above, not below. But, then, when times got rough and He was in the garden of Gethsemane, He really got serious with God! He even asked His disciples to pray and chastised them for sleeping instead.
So. Are you in the rapids? Paddle! Listen to your guide! Spend the extra time praying, reading the Word, sharing with other believers and focusing on what God is saying. This time will pass, but it requires more effort on your part to keep you away from the rocks. And if you’re not in a rough patch of water right now, shout out some encouragement to someone who is. They could probably use it right about now.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!