Monday, July 16, 2012

Safe Boating




I took the adorable little kayak my Dad gave me out to the river again yesterday. I kayaked for two hours. Since I can return the kayak within 30 days if I don't like it, I knew I needed to test it fully. It is certainly not because there is almost nothing I would rather be doing than kayaking on glistening water surrounded by lush forests, osprey and herons, and the sound of the wind in the leaves. Not at all.

I had first called my old senior friend Comer to see if he wanted me to come read to him. He did not. He said he would not be very good company as he was doing so poorly. I chatted with him for a while, and afterwards decided I had to go do my duty, and test my kayak some more. A tough job but someone had to do it.

In my old inflatable kayak, which I dearly love but which has its limitations, I was always careful to stay far from shore where snagging, treacherous limbs could rip its fabric. I was also always a little worried about the potential for alligators. Now, normally alligators do not come this far north, but they have been sighted in Lake Wylie before. I knew that should I encounter a large carnivorous aquatic creature, my inflatable kayak would be like the marshmallow on top of the sweet potato. I would be the sweet potato. Now, however, with the hard body kayak, I felt invincible. I scraped close to shore skimming over branches, and looking with hopefulness for alligators. How fun to glide near those prehistoric monsters with no fear of them biting through my kayak! At least...I don't think they could bite through my kayak....

At any rate, it made me think about what gives us security in this world, what quells anxiety, what promotes trust that we are safe? In the case of the kayak, it was the difference between a flimsy vehicle made of rubber and air, versus hard molded plastic. But had I been in the ocean with a 20 foot shark trailing me, the hard molded plastic would not have made me feel safe. Is there such a thing as ultimate safety, a sense of security not based on circumstances, not relative but absolute?

I believe there is. It seems at first blush even flimsier than my inflatable kayak. It cannot be touched at all, in fact. It is invisible, and yet contains the only strength we feeble humans really possess. That is faith. Faith in the One who controls all eternity, including our own. None of us are safe without it, not even if our kayaks were made of titanium.

Psalm 4:6-8 (NIV)
Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. [7] Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. [8] In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.



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