Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rushing River God (aka kayaking)

Rolling River God
Little stones are smooth
Only once the water passes through
So I am a stone
rough and grainy still
Trying to reconcile this river's chill

I went on an adventure this morning, or at least that's what it ended up being.  I decided in the last few weeks that there were things that I've been wanting to do, things that I kept putting off and reasoning that one day, someday I would do them.  As silly as it sounds, kayaking at White Rock was one of those things.  I had it on my list to do all summer since I now live by the lake.  With the long labor day weekend I decided that today was a good day to finally embark on the adventure.  It was finally going to be cooler in the morning and I so wanted to go out there and be alone with God, to pray and seek His face with all the questions stirring in my heart.  Fifteen minutes into my paddling and the wind picked up so I decided to turn back.  I knew right away when I turned around that it would be a battle against the wind.  Oh how much of a battle it was.  At first it seemed humorous, like I knew God was trying to teach me something.  After 30 minutes of paddling against the wind, against the current I was in tears.  Scared that I would be out there all day, no one was around.  The only people I could see were runners and bikers along the trails and I knew they wouldn't hear me, I was too far in the middle of the lake.  I cried more and more and prayed with all my heart that God would calm the wind, that He would somehow miraculously send help.  A boater, someone in a canoe or kayak...heck, I was even hoping someone from the shore would see my struggle and find help.  With each force that I put into paddling against the wind, it blew me that much further away from my destination.

Sometimes raging wild
sometimes swollen high
never have I known this river dry
The deepest part of you
is where I want to stay
and feel the sharpest edges wash away

I found myself paddling toward the shore, I figured if I could get out of the water, I could walk back to the beginning.  Part of me was scared that I was stranded for who knows how long and the other part of me was scared that the company I rented from would charge me more than an hour since I was out longer than the planned time.  It seems silly, but this was what was going through my head this whole time.  I finally made it to the shore and there was a fisherman kind enough to drive me back to where I started.  He saw me struggling as I got closer to the shore, help came in a very unexpected way today.  It wasn't by another boater coming by and finding me, it wasn't by helicopter or the rental company coming out to get was by a fisherman who served in the army for 10 years and now works as a Sears washer/dryer mechanic, it came in the form of a man named Jeff.  On top of that when I got back to the rental company they were so kind and only charged me for the original hour I set.  I had been out for a total of one and a half hours, but it seemed like eternity.  Their only concern was that I was okay...and I was, I am, I will be.

This morning I set out for a peaceful morning with God, and it started out that way and ultimately proved to remind me that things don't always feel peaceful.  It's the ability to find peace in the midst of chaos, confusion, and questions that may never be answered.  It's finding a source...THE source of love and comfort in Christ Jesus.  There is nothing else, no person, no thing, no place that will fill the gapping hole in my heart that only God can fill.

But when I close my eyes
and feel you rushing by
I know that time brings change 
and change takes time
And when the sunset comes
my prayer would be just this one
that you might pick me up
and notice that I am
just a little smoother in your hand*

*River God by Nichole Nordeman

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