Monday, May 17, 2010

Learning to Ride the Waves


We took our beloved friend Lucy kayaking with us yesterday and terrorized her. We didn't mean to terrorize her, but we were on a quest for the cheapest way to kayak, so went to the free public boat launch on Lake Wylie. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, so the lake swarmed with power boats, and the power boats were big fat oil guzzling beasts that were churning the water with waves as big as ocean waves.

I realized as we bobbed like corks in a whirlpool that Lucy had never kayaked alone on anything but the tame and tiny little lake near home, and that only a handful of times. She is not a risk taker, and tells us that we have forced her to be brave. This is not true. Lucy is one of the bravest kids I know, stoically dealing every day with juvenile diabetes.... but I will take the praise anyway because it is in such short supply in my life.

What is worse is her dad had been concerned about the lake being so busy on such a fine day and I assured him we stay close to shore. And we do, but shore was being battered by the biggest waves of all as they crashed and splintered against the skull crushing rocks.

We started by practicing in a little cove where the boats moor. As long as the giant boats weren't in the process of mooring and unmooring which was never, the cove was quiet and a good place to test our skills. Each time a boat went by, Lucy asked me stay near, which I did, and her face looked grim as the kayak rocked in the wave.
"I promise you Lucy, the only way that kayak will tip over is if you want it to."
Lucy was riding what Asherel calls the floating pancake. It is a wide, flat kayak and virtually impossible to topple. I knew Lucy was in no danger of capsizing, but Lucy didn't. She had to take my word for it.

But I know what it feels like to be on an unfamiliar boat for the first time and have it battered by wind and waves. It is terrifying until you have enough experience remaining alive on it to realize you really are going to survive.

So we paddled in the cove for about half an hour, at which point Lucy felt safe enough to brave the open waters. The waves were by far the largest I have ever ridden in my kayak. My dear little $35 inflatable rode them admirably, not taking on any water. It was like being on a water bed. We tied Lucy's boat to Asherel's and for the first 5 minutes riding the giant waves, I could see Lucy could either realize this was a ton of fun, like a roller coaster, or she could disassociate into multiple personalities to escape the trauma. I prayed for the former and reminded her the water was only 6 inches deep where we were.

"Keep reminding me of that!" she said. And a little while later she said, "This is fun." And a little while later she said, "Can we go find more waves?" She was so courageous by then that when a fish jumped up, and she noted something must be chasing it, I didn't think it was too cruel to joke, "Must be a fresh water shark."
I glanced back, "I am kidding, you know."
"Yes... I thought you were...."

So we kayaked for 2 hours, chasing ducks and calling them with our duck caller, which every well appointed kayaker keeps at hand. We kayaked all over the place looking for bigger waves, shouting and laughing as they tossed us harmlessly about.

So much of victorious living hinges on trust. In this case, Lucy had to trust me. She dared to try those huge waves as long as I was beside her. Similarly, though it really did no good, it was comforting to know she was tied to Asherel's boat. And ultimately, what had been a source of great trepidation and perceived danger, became thrilling joy and conquest.

The waves I have faced in life are sometimes small and sometimes overwhelming, threatening to engulf. But I know who alone can still the waves, and I tie myself to Him. And when we overcome those huge swells, I realize that fear should never prevent me from voyaging at His side. If I am smashed against the rocks, He is the only one that can scrape me off and set me safely Home.

2 Samuel 22: 5, 17
5 "The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me........
17 "He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.

1 comment:

  1. Forget the books. Market ur daily views on God to churches.

    ReplyDelete