Life and the rapids

Everyone wants peace. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t. You want peace in your home, on the job and at church. In fact the Bible tells us to pursue peace.

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Romans 14:19 NKJV

When I teach young couples about marriage, I always start them out with peace. I teach them to pray for peace. If a couple prays together, they have a much better chance of staying together. That is not a cliché, that is the absolute truth.

I’ve had lots of adventures in my life. I’ve been a lot of places and have gotten to do many things that people only dream about. One of the things that I’ve done is white water rafting.

I have a friend that lives in Pennsylvania. We took the six hour trip to go visit him and his family. He, his wife and three children lived in Pittsburg, but they had a place in the mountains north of Pittsburg they called “The Farm“. Part of our trip was spent in the city and part in the country.

While staying in the country, he asked us if we would like to go white water rafting. We all wanted to go. He knew the best and most inexpensive places so we headed out blindly following him.

The place he took us was very well kept and very well ran. They were efficient and thorough. They showed us how to manipulate out boats and how to navigate ourselves if we happed to fall out in white water. They taught us to lift our feet and just flow with the water. Eventually we would come to calm water. If you put your feet down in the rapids, it will pull you under.

In fact, the week before we were there a teenage girl did just that. She put her feet down and the water dragged her down. She did not survive. That was a warning to us to listen to our instructor.

My two sons have a boat called a “two man ducky”. My wife, daughter and I had a boat made for five or six people and was much harder to maneuver. We hit lots of white water, several places that were very rough. One place our guide showed us a really rough spot. We had to park on the shore and walk to a place that we could look down on the river to see how to navigate through this very tumultuous place. He pointed out where to go in the white water and where to avoid. We all made it through but it was a little frightening. We just followed the instructions and came out unscathed.

The most vivid memory I have of that day was the last mile or so of our adventure. We were in the rapids and suddenly we were in calm water. The last mile we just laid back in the raft and let the water take us home. It was one of the most peaceful experiences of my life. After all of the churning of the water and the effort we spent keeping ourselves headed in the right direction, the peace was amazing.

Life brings upheaval. We are constantly working at going the right direction. Sometimes it’s crazy, sometimes not. But, there is nothing like settling in to the peace that passes all understanding. Just laying back and letting God take you where you need to go.