It is Saturday morning, just a little after six a.m. and instead of sleeping in I awoke to the memories of whitewater rafting down the Royal Gorge on the Arkansas River. If you were to ask either me or my hubby what a perfect day looked like to us the answer would be hands down whitewater rafting. I hope you don't mind, but my needy cat, Rowdy is helping me write this. For some strange reason he feels the need to knead whenever the laptop comes out. But I digress...
We have a multitude of whitewater stories we could tell but this morning I want to tell you a story one of our guides told us. This guide was a petite young woman who had spent the previous five summers guiding on the Arkansas and Blue Rivers in Colorado and whatever the river is in West Virginia where everyone boasts such great rapids. Someone in our raft asked her what her favorite story of all rafting time was and she told us this story. Hope you like it.
It was a day about mid-season of a previous summer and a group of women and their children had been assigned to her boat. The women were wearing prairie style dresses as were the little girls and had prayer caps on, so, not being a believer, the guide said she knew they were "religious". She said things were moving along pretty well until they came upon the first set of rapids. Now, if you have ever been rafting you know how important it is for everyone in the raft to buck up and do their part for the old team. If you haven't been, let me just say, that any weak link in the raft can cause a tremendous problem for everyone else in the boat, all depending on the length and size of the rapids.
The first group of rapids were not excessive, but were enough to totally freak out the mommies and screaming tikes. From that point on, whenever the guide would began to call out instructions the mommies would gather all the kids in the middle of the raft and say, "Stay close to us, kids. Jesus will save us! Jesus will save us!"
Needless to say, the guide was doing all the work and she was getting frustrated with these people and really just wanted to drop them off on the nearest sandbar. When a Class Four area was fast approaching, the mommies began their "Jesus will save us" speech and the guide told us she snapped. She said, "Yes! Yes! Jesus will save you, but right now he wants you to paddle!"
We all roared with laughter. A friend of mine who is an editor of a children's magazine for a local ministry had come along with us and he borrowed that story for a whitewater rafting trip he had planned with some of his readers and their dads. After the story was told and the laughter died down he told them this: "Jesus will save us, but he does want us to paddle the boat. Life's boat hits a lot of rapids and our admiral, the captain of the ship will guide us as we take the oars and plod along."
It was a great story, a great day and on another blog day I will finish the story of everything else that happened that day. The best times of my life have happened on a raft...both on the water and off.