Several years ago I went whitewater rafting in Oregan on the Deshutes River. What started out as a fun trip turned into the biggest nightmare of my life. I had rafted before in North Georgia (where Deliverance was filmed) and on the Ocoee in North Carolina/Tennessee (where the Olympics were held)....I was not afraid....I was excited. The first day was a grand adventure and enjoyed the feel of the cold water and the hot sun on my skin. The second day I wish had never happened. A small storm was brewing above us...and the water became very angry. My little yellow boat went over a class 4+ water fall and dropped two of us right into an eddy. In the eddy we were spun around like clothes in a washing machine. Rocks under the water pelted us, the rope from the boat snaked it's way around my neck, I made peace with God because I knew this was it. All at once my foot found a big rock and I was able to propell myself out of my would-be grave....onto a rock right under the water fall....I held on for dear life. A kyacker paddled some distance below me and kept telling me to turn loose and float to him. There was no way! My head was killing me. I could not focus out of my right eye because of the blood running down into it....and it was MY BLOOD! For forty-five minutes that kayacker continued to try and talk me off the rock....finally....worn out and in pain....I focused on the kayacker and turned loose. He caught me and took me to the safety of the bank. I was reading my blogging friend, Deb's post today about her granddaughter....and it reminded me of this day. Deb's husband scooped up his terrified little granddaughter and set her on solid ground and it you know it truly would be great if God solved all of our problems that way, wouldn't it. " I have to admit that most of my life He has rushed to my rescue. But many times, He hasn't gathered me up. Instead, He chose to teach me some big/small lesson thqat has helped me grow in Him. Deb's lesson on focus was one of those for me too." Obviously, I experienced a huge focusing problem that day in the water, but I have learned many times over that sometimes I focus too much on me....just like that day. I was hurting, I was afraid, I was vulnerable....I was...I was. I was so focusd on my circumstances and my wants and my needs that I could only see what was right in front of me--the gap(in this case a huge river) between where I was sitting(the rock) and the place where I wanted to go(the bank). The longer I sat there, the greater the gap seemed to get, and the further away that kayacker seemed to drift. Fear definitely set in and I found myself terrified that I was going to get hurt really, really bad, die, or if I lived possibly getting some scars. I believed that God had placed me on that solid rock....and I was supposed to stay there....I was going to have to change my focus...I was going to have to listen to the kayacker....I was going to have to trust him, a stranger I had never met....and I was going to have to turn loose and trust that God would be there with me. It was at that moment that I chose to fix my eyes not on what I could see(the kayacker), but on what I could not(an unknown ending)....my focus had to shift from it's all about me to it's all about loving God and obeying Him. I knew in that flash of a moment before I turned loose and headed for the kayacker that I could do anything with God....and I did. I managed to make it to the bank...without drowning. PTL. That was a major lesson for me....turning something loose and trusting God to hold me afloat. It is a lesson I have kept in my secret lesson learning file...because many times since the great whitewater rafting event....when I feel myself losing focus...pulled out that lesson and relived that moment. Thanks Deb, for the reminder....thank you for listening to God this morning....even though you did not know someone else was needing focusing today. Happy Thursday All...and two days to Spring Break!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.