I almost didn't go. How many blessings would I have missed if I gave in to my fear of kayaking in a potential rainstorm? The weather report said ZERO percent chance of rain, but the sky did not look very promising. I wasn't going to go, but then decided I can't kayak with sea creatures back home in Charlotte so I should give it a whirl.
As soon as I unloaded my kayak, it started raining. I looked at the dark clouds, then at the beckoning water. I launched. Almost immediately, as I was gliding by the reeds on an island in the middle of the river, I saw a huge brown shape. I thought it was a goat...though how I imagined a goat had gotten on the island I don't know.
As I skimmed closer, I realized it was a Bald Eagle, eating a dead fish!!! Bald Eagles are HUGE. They are the size of a goat just in case you have never seen one up close. When I got close, the eagle flew away. The video is too dark to see him on the ground, but captures the beginning of his flight. Then he settled on a sign and again, I was able to come quite close to him. Thrill beyond thrill!
The rain still dribbled out of the sky, so I wasn't going to go far...but you know how it is when you are doing something beyond wonderful. I just couldn't stop. And then I saw two bald eagles on a waterside roof. One flew away, but the other remained watching me from atop a telephone pole.
Finally, I headed off to another section of the river, and saw a shark. Now it was just a baby shark, maybe two or three feet long but that freaked me out. I paddled as fast as I could away from the shallow section where it was feeding.
Calming a little, I saw yet another much larger fin off my bow. My heart did a few somersaults but then I realized it was a dolphin. In fact, it was two dolphins. I got a great video of them and trailed them for a couple of miles. They did not seem to mind since they had to have known I was there but they continued surfacing every few seconds.
To think I almost didn't go because of the threat of rain. How many other wonders of God's blessings have I missed because of fear or because bad things might happen? How much of abundant life have I not experienced because I would rather be safe, comfortable, and secure?
I suspect A LOT.
There are many fearful people in the Bible who squashed their fear and went on to receive enormous blessings. Abraham. Sarah. Moses. Jonah. Gideon....They all had legitimate reasons to be afraid as the tasks God put before them were overwhelming. But of course, with God, any thing He gives us to do, He empowers us to accomplish.
Now I am not saying kayaking is on the same level as entering the Promised Land (though there ARE similarities....) However, I think there is a principle that can be applied to both. Never let fear prevent you from enjoying God's blessings or God's objectives for your life. Suffering may be in the mix, but to avoid suffering, one has to avoid living. That is what I think God was showing me with the eagles and the dolphins in the rain.
I praised God and thanked Him for my five-star day, and for giving me the courage to overcome my concerns.
BTW - this is a picture of the phone mount I rigged using industrial strength Velcro to attach to my kayak bow. The phone has a magnet strip on the back of the case, and the mount uses a powerful magnet to grip it. The waves sometimes had white caps, but my phone was securely mounted and I am able to take selfies or panoramic shots hands-free while kayaking! Both the phone and mount are attached with a safety strap to the kayak so if they go overboard, I can retrieve them.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.