Life lessons can be found in many things that we do, especially when things go wrong! The day my husband and I went down the river in a canoe was the day that had life lessons in store for me!
It was Labor Day a few years ago when my husband and I did something that has been on my summer bucket list for years.
We took a ride down the Delaware River in our canoe!
Life is like canoeing down a river!
Life is like a river flowing and flowing in one direction.
Life starts where you are born just like a river starts at the top of the mountain and starts to flow and flow until it gets to the end.
We drive to church along this river and in the summer we see people lazily floating down the river on their rafts or canoes.
The river moves slowly towards its destination.
No one ever appears afraid of being capsized onto the rocks.
I never noticed the rocks!
We launched our old red fiberglass canoe into the water and climbed in with our lunch bag, water bottles, and my cute puppy.
I had no reason to believe that it would be worse than a roller coaster as we shoved off from the boat launch!
We hadn’t even gone far when we came to the first set of rocks.
What happens is that the water swirls around the rocks even when the rocks are below the surface.
You can tell that rocks are ahead just by the way the water is acting.
Suddenly our old red canoe is hung up on a rock.
Before I knew it, my husband sticks his foot onto the rock and dumped us into the river!
The water was rushing past us and the padded lunch bag was floating downstream when I snatched it.
Next, I was grabbing the two water bottles as they started floating past me.
The puppy was swimming and I grabbed her leash before she was swept away by the current.
I was tenaciously holding onto my rubber slippers with my toes. I wasn’t sure if I should let them go or not.
The rocks look slippery as I carefully made my way towards the canoe.
After that, I screamed as every set of rocks rapidly appeared.
We rocked, rolled and dove over the rapids.
Our fiberglass canoe creaked and bent as we tried to maneuver it down the river.
It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the view of the surrounding mountains despite our treacherous ride downstream.
There were at least ten sets of rapids because the water was low at the end of summer.
Sometimes we got caught balancing on a rock.
Other times we flew over a rock that was barely submerged as the canoe dove several feet to the river below.
Life is Like a Canoe Ride
Life is so much like a canoe ride down a fast-moving river.
Once you are born, you are committed to living until the day you die.
You don’t know how your life will unfold.
And . . . you don’t know how it will end!
Suddenly and tragically?
Through serious illness?
You just don’t know!
Life is one day at a time.
Sometimes life is smooth sailing just as some sections of the river flows peacefully.
Life can be like the rapids where you don’t know if you will get out alive.
The river moves you ahead quickly and the rocks rear up in your way and you can’t steer around them fast enough.
Being in the front of the canoe can be scary as you go through the rapids. You can see the rocks and drop-offs easily but you are not the one controlling the boat.
The person in the back seat is the one controlling and steering the canoe.
Who is in the Back Seat?
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; ~Hebrews 2:1-3~
Life moves fast and can end at any moment.
When life is calm and peaceful, we have the feeling like life will last forever. We lose the feeling that it could end at any moment.
We need to remember the rapids. That feeling that the ride could end at any moment.
Life is like a vapor.
We need to live life in the present but yet, with an eternal perspective that it is brief. We just don’t know the ending of the story.
Hebrews 2:1-3 is key. We really ought to give earnest thought and attention to what we have heard. We need to be steadfast.
I thought we would never escape some of the rapids. They were often worse than the first set that dumped us.
Before it is too late we need to consider our life.
It is too late when we are in the rapids. We are in emergency mode trying to stay alive and move around the rocks.
The rocks in life can teach us lessons.
We can’t escape life. We have to come to terms with Jesus Christ now while we are living our life or we will afterward when every knee shall bow before Him.
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; ~Philippians 2:10~
It would be easier to surrender to Jesus now so that he can control the canoe and maneuver you around the rocks and rapids.
It won’t mean that the rapids will disappear but that Jesus will control your life through the hard trials and bring you to a victorious ending.
Is your life out-of-control as if you are going over rapids in a canoe? Do you need Jesus steering the canoe?