What I Learned About Life While Kayaking- Trust Jesus
By Tandy Balson
Have you ever gone kayaking? Tandy shares her experience as a novice kayaker, and her thoughts on how to trust Jesus to be our security in the waves of life.
Tandy Balson is a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, volunteer and observer of life. She is also a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Contact us if you are a truth seeker and need some answers.
Getting My Feet Wet
As a novice kayaker I discovered things were very different on the water than what I had imagined.
To start with I had to get my feet wet! The lake was choppy, the kayak wasn’t holding still and I had to step into the water and stabilize it enough that I could climb in without tipping. I was worried that I couldn’t do it and would end up looking foolish. My hesitation caused exactly what I was afraid of. I learned that I can’t get anywhere with one foot in the kayak and one on land!
God places many opportunities before me. In order to take advantage of them I need to brush fear aside and stick my toe in the water. This is where faith comes in. Even Moses had to take a step of faith before the waters of the Red Sea parted. I can’t imagine how he felt when the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.” When my fear immobilizes me I need to remember this and say, “You may not be able to do this on your own, but with God, everything is possible.”
Trust Jesus To Stay On The Right Path
I soon learned that I needed to paddle evenly on each side to keep my course straight. Favouring one side had me going in circles.
When I find myself going in circles in life it is usually because I keep doing the same thing over and over. I like to think I know what’s best for me, but in reality that’s not always the case. As Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Face The Waves
Speed boats zipped by and created waves. I soon learned the safest way to ride these out was to either face them head on or turn my back to them. It was when I let them hit me broadside that I became unstable and took on water.
Troubles in life can hit like the waves. Sometimes I see them coming but other times they hit me suddenly.
The best way to navigate these is to face them head on. This can be done by turning my troubles over to the Lord through prayer. He will enable me to deal with them without capsizing. He will also allow me to turn my back on the insignificant things and put them behind me. I trust in the promise I read in Psalm 55:22:
“Turn your burdens over to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will never let the righteous person stumble.”
Or in this case, capsize.
Get Some Rest
For a short time I stopped paddling and drifted; content to be on the water on this glorious day. Soon I realized I was farther from the safety of shore than I was comfortable with.
The lesson here was that it’s alright to relax and drift for short periods of time. Jesus teaches the importance of rest. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said to the disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” The problem comes when I spend too much time drifting aimlessly and lose focus and direction. This gets me off course and it can take a lot of paddling to get me back to where I need to be.
Sometimes You Need To Slow Down
At one point I was on a collision course with the kayak my husband was in. I had to paddle backwards to slow down.
The only impact here was from the lesson before me. There are times when I am moving full steam ahead and am on a collision course for danger. I need to slow down, take a few steps back and re-evaluate my direction. In The New Living Translation of the Bible, the book of Romans says,
“ Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
It is when I’m copying the behaviours of the world that I get in trouble. Sometimes what I see as going backwards is exactly what is needed to get me moving in the right direction again.
Trust Jesus In All You Do
I am a non-swimmer which makes it frightening for me to be in or on water where I can’t touch the bottom. Before I got into the kayak I put on a life jacket. This gave me confidence that I would be safe even if I capsized.
In life it is Jesus that I turn to for my security. He is the one who guides me safely through the waves that would otherwise turn me upside down. He charts my course and directs my steps. When I am in over my head he puts my feet on the solid rock. He keeps me focused so I don’t drift away. When I listen for his guidance, Jesus lets me know when to move ahead and when to take a step back. To enter into the adventure he has planned for me, I just need to say, “Yes” and get my feet wet.
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