Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Controlled Terror

Today will be one of measured anxiety. Asherel is going with the church group to the whitewater center to do the Olympic level white water rapids. This is always the problem with church activities.... since they know that heaven awaits them should the worst happen, they go blithely off where normal people who want to live to see their grandchildren don't go.

But first, I had to sign the release.

The first paragraph wasn't bad. I just had to acknowledge that I understood that all activities carry inherent risks. I could agree with that. I even have my art students sign a release as you never know when you might trip while carrying a paintbrush and perforate your skull.

It was the second paragraph that raised my blood pressure to clinically unacceptable levels. In this cheery section, I learned that the risks included bruising, contusions, concussions, broken bones, severed limbs, drowning, and death. I signed because my daughter wants so desperately to do this and as far as I can recall, no one has died yet at the Whitewater Center.

So Asherel is going forth with apparently no fear or concern. But there is one part of the trip that horrifies even her brave soul.

"I might come out there and take your picture as you float by," I said as we were on our walk.
She looked at me with abject terror etched on her gaping mouth and wide eyes.
"Oh please don't!" she cried.
Oh the horror, the horror!
"No one will see me," I assured her, "I will hide behind a tree."
"No you won't," she said with a tremulous voice, "You will jump around and wave and shout 'Way to Go!!!"
"I can understand your fear," I said, "Someone might find out that you have a mother who loves you and wants you to be happy. You poor thing. And worse yet, they might even discover that I feed and clothe and care for your needs and every want. How could anyone be expected to endure that?"

So why am I signing this form, and letting her go? I don't think we are called to be reckless, but I do think we are called to live life to the fullest, and not to live a life of fear over what horrible things might happen. While Whitewater rafting can certainly not be put on the level of some of the frightful moments Paul faced, I do think the principle is the same when he declares:

24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, (2 Corinthians 11:25-27)but concludes in 2 Corinthians 12:
9 (Jesus) said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So me and the dogs will wait weakly at home, our ears cocked, our eyes on the clock. And we will pray since if I am to live to see my grandchildren, my child must live too.


  1. I am with Asherel. Do NOT, under any circumstances, go take her picture! Were you never 13?

  2. yes, don't you recall when i was 13 dad had that old fashioned camera where he put the hood over his head and he made us pose.... and I wore bunny ears for his professional shot of the family. Boy was he mad....