Thursday, June 23, 2016

Defying Death and Pursuing Peace

Danger-- Warning from Overhead
"Be safe on those waters," a stranger said to me as I launched my kayak. I wondered why she was concerned. As soon, as I hit the water, helicopters were circling over me. That was when I remembered the recent news report of happenings on those very waters. I was afraid they were going to pull out a gun, and say "Get off the water, you crazy person. Brain-eating amoebas are in the river!"

I am NOT making light of the recent death of a young lady from the brain-eating amoeba in our White Water Center on the Catawba, right where I was kayaking. However, it is extremely rare for someone to be infected by the amoeba. There have only been 35 cases world-wide in ten years. The folks in the helicopter were far more likely to die from crashing than I was from the amoeba. I should have been warning them!

Also, you have to suck the water deep into your nose to let the amoeba near your brain. I never swim in the water or submerge my face. Occasionally I sit in it to cool off. The amoeba would definitely go after easier prey.

The helicopter circled above me for some time. Maybe it was a News helicopter, and I will be on the News; the death-defying kayaker taking her life in her hands on the amoeba infested waters.

The helicopter eventually moved on down the river, perhaps to warn other death-defying kayakers. I came to this picturesque railroad bridge. All thoughts of amoebas were long gone.

Picturesque railroad bridge over waters teeming with brain-eating amoebas

I saw osprey, herons, and many turtles. If I saw any brain-eating amoebas, I didn't know it. As I kayaked, it was hard to be worried about the amoebas, or really, anything. The peace that washes over me when I kayak is other-worldly. I don't understand why everyone on earth isn't racing to buy kayaks and take their chances with the amoebas. Peace is elusive, and many people pursue such unhealthy means of trying to obtain it.

Yet for the cost of a kayak, I bob in the cradle of God's creation, soaking in His presence, glory, and peace.

You can find God anywhere, and the more you seek Him, the easier He is to find. However, it helps if you can shut out the clamor and worry of a frenetic world to hear His whispers. Sometimes He shouts over the world's noise, but most of the time, I think He prefers a gentler approach. It is we who make Him raise His voice.

So I glided in my kayak, slicing through who knows how many hungry brain-eating amoebas in complete safety and peace. I was listening, in case there was something God wanted me to hear.


Safely navigating dangerous waters with God
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2 Thessalonians 3:16 

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.


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