Monday, June 7, 2010

Dog Days and Defying Death

Word to the wise- when it is 100 degrees out, with 100 % humidity, watching events on a baked open field with not one scintilla of shade is not all that much fun.

Nonetheless, when we saw that the white water center was hosting Dog Days, complete with dogs kayaking, we felt we should go watch. Perhaps they could show us what kind of anchors a kayak needs. The first 5 minutes were fun, watching our friend and mentor Polly running her amazing dog in an agility and flyball demo. However, heat stroke set in on the 6th minute, and by the 7th minute, we were afraid Jesus had come again, and left us behind to that other place. We love dogs, but we had to escape and seek shade. The dog water activities weren't due to happen for 2 hours yet, and we were already feeling like those earthworms baked on the asphalt after a summer rain and drought.

So we sought shade along the White water "river"- man made rapids that people pay a lot of money to ride floating coffins on and see how far their eyeballs can bulge out of their head should they happen to survive.

"That looks fun!" said Asherel.

Ohoh. I detect another motherly sacrifice along the lines of those snowboarding escapades I made in the winter. Dotted every few feet along the banks were rescue people. Each carried a rope and hauling human device, as well as a variety of emergency supplies. There were also several expert kayakers planted at the edge of each terrifying swirl of rapids, and each time a new floating coffin of victims would loom on the horizon, they would tense and hold paddles ready to race after the unfortunates tossed overboard by the raging water.

"Fun?" I squeaked.

As we watched, some body went sailing through the air and splashed into the torrent. Rescue people sprinted to the person being tossed like popcorn down stream. Several threw lines like lassos and hauled her in. She rose shakily and climbed with their assist out of the water. She bent to examine the bruises and cuts.

"Let's bring our DI team here and do this for our party!" called out Asherel.

It is funny how young people do everything in their power to tempt death, and old people, with so much less to live for, become increasingly fearful. What is up with that? It seems so backwards. On par with all those crazy convoluted things in the Bible like "He died that I might live" or "unless ye be born again you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven" or my personal favorite, "the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things."(Philippians 3:8) To gain what is best, we must lose everything else. I guess that is why we get wrinkles, and bending bones, and aching joints, and brittle grey hair, and body parts that drip like honey to the earth. Unless we lose all good things, maybe we don't long for the best. Maybe all those thrill seekers on those rapids know something I don't know. Until you depend on someone else to haul you out of the waters as they threaten to engulf you, you might not understand your own limits. Maybe some people honestly can't value life until they are about to lose it.

As we walked along the raging river to return to the car, another body was bounced off the boat and into the wild current.

"Fun!!!" shouted Asherel.
"Oy vay," I moaned.

2 Samuel 22:4-6 (New International Version)

4 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.

5 "The waves of death swirled about me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

6 The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.

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