Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Easiest Thing on Earth

We have a friend who wanted to kayak with us so she could practice rolling her new kayak over so that her head is underwater. I agree with what you all are thinking- people who do that are crazy. First of all what makes them crazy is that they strap themselves into their special kayak. Then they go out on the relaxing lake in the hot 90 degree day wearing a helmet. A helmet on the quiet water? This alone makes me think they are up to something that normal people would not attempt. Asherel and I took our friend who I will only identify as K (For Kamikaze Kayaker) to a large lake that has lots of motorboats whizzing by. This is fun for us since our kayaks are very difficult to tip over. K's kayak on the other hand, is designed to roll. So every wave of a passing boat threatened to roll her right over. This would be fine, except K is really still learning the sport of doing this without drowning. Thus, every boat that passed she would nervously paddle away and pray the wave when it hit her was small enough that she would remain upright.

We paddled miraculously with no casualties to a big rock we like to moor at in the middle of the lake. Asherel loves to jump off the rock. That used to make me nervous, until we brought K with us who was more deserving of my anxiety at this point.
"Gonna roll now!" shouted K.
"I got my video ready!" I said, "By the way, that nose plug is a good look on you."
And then she rolled over. I watched some frantic reaching out of the water from hands beneath the overturned boat, and then a brief shot of her head , and then a burst of activity, while I prepared to dive in after her, and then she popped out from underneath her boat.
"How did you get out?" I asked, putting a tablet of nitroglycerin under my tongue.
"I popped my skirt."
"I thought you were drowning," I told her, "I was wrestling with my conscience if I wanted to throw my $500 iPhone in the water to save you...."
"I won't drown," she assured me, "I just have to pop the skirt that holds me in and I swim right out. But now I have to take the boat to shore to drain it."
I can guarantee you this is a sport I will NEVER do. It rates right up there in my mind with spelunking and snake handling.
By the end of our couple of hours on the lake, she was rolling successfully without "popping the skirt".

Fortunately, even Asherel seemed to agree that this was a sport she had no interest in. There is no way I could watch my daughter do that. Apparently, when whitewater kayaks flip, the kayaker's instinct is to get their head out of the water first. But that is the last part of their body that comes up in a successful roll. It is completely counterintuitive. What one feels with all their heart is the one thing they must do to survive is the very thing they must NOT do. This is a spiritual lesson if ever I saw one, I thought.

I think the hardest thing we self reliant humans can do is to recognize we are not at all in control. To willingly relinquish all to a God we cannot see, or hear, or touch seems as crazy as kamikaze kayaking. It is completely counterintuitive. Yet in the end, I am convinced, it is the ONLY thing that will save us.

"The funny thing is," K told me, "It is exhausting when you are doing it wrong. Once you do it right, it is the easiest thing on earth."

Matthew 11: 27-30
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

-save a dog- hollowcreekfarm.org

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