Dead In the Water
There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12 NLT
Imagine this, the beautiful blue Caribbean ocean; no clouds in sight; gentle tropical breezes and the surf is up. It’s another day in paradise.
However, my life wasn’t picture perfect. The idea seemed innocent enough. My wife, Belinda, and I were on vacation. We set out that day with eight other couples to kayak along the coast of an island. What could be better than that?
We listened as our guide explained in detail how to get the kayak off the beach and avoid capsizing when the first set of waves crested near the shore. However, afterwards Belinda and I couldn’t agree on what we had just heard. The surf was loud and our adrenaline was pumping. Belinda was nervous because she doesn’t swim well. I was overconfident because I grew up in Alaska, and had spent a lot of time in a canoe.
As we pushed off from the shore, I said, You paddle on the right (her strong side), and I will paddle on the left. The first big wave came at us and she paddled frantically on the right and then switched to the left. I tried to correct her verbally and offset her choices by paddling opposite her. That didn’t work because she kept changing sides. I didn’t know which way she was going next and I was supposed to be steering!
I tried desperately to guess her next move and still keep us headed straight into the first big wave. To turn sideways would be certain disaster. The wave hit. The bow went straight up in the air. The surf splashed in our faces. We went down the other side with incredible speed. Somehow we made it past the first wave upright. We were off on a great adventure! Life is good! We can do this! Or so we thought.
Then the struggle for control set in. We argued about how to steer the kayak and who should take which role. I complained that everyone else seemed to have it figured out. I noticed and pointed out that they were also cooperating. They were even smiling and enjoying the experience. That didn’t help.
Belinda told me that if I was so smart I could just paddle by myself and see how that worked. I said, That would be an improvement! Belinda decided she had had enough and quit paddling completely. Out of frustration I quit paddling too.
Dead in the water. That’s what happens if you don’t paddle. Then the sea takes you wherever it wants you to go. That was not good! We made apologies and started again. We tried harder. We tried a LOT harder. By now the sun was blazing hot. Did I tell you there were no clouds in sight? The fun factor was fading fast.
This is a good example of what happens when two people are both on the “I want it my way” selfish path. It might seem right in the heat of the moment but the end result is frustration.
If you are thinking there must be a better way, keep reading. This except is from the book, backwards: Created to Live SENT
Week 1, Devo 2, Dead in the Water