How could satisfying a husband’s request for a kayak end up teaching me one of the most important lessons of my life?
Back in 2007, my husband Rich suggested we get a kayak. In exploring our central Massachusetts town, we discovered that it and surrounding towns are peppered with lakes, ponds and streams.
Love at first sight
Rich and I are both Pisces people and love the water. We had done test runs in both canoes and kayaks; I knew the minute I sat in it that the kayak was the right fit. It put me closest to the water.
Resistance is futile
At first I resisted the idea of purchasing one because money was tight but Rich wore me down. He drove four hours to New Hampshire with our daughter to get the best price and returned with a used, green and beautiful tandem kayak.
The boat landing was right down the street and so we set sail. Right away I knew this new hobby was going to have a very positive effect on our lives.
Bridging a gap
Rich and I have enjoyed a lifelong relationship. We dated in high school and married just out of college. We share the same values about life, particularly when it comes to our faith, but when it came doing things together, we came up short.
- Rich loves games and is good at them; I am terrible at them and find them boring.
- I love being outdoors walking, bird watching or swimming. Rich is what my mother would have termed a “hot house plant:” he never went outdoors.
- He excelled at Kung Fu; I couldn’t figure out the moves.
- We could never agree on movies or music (with the exception of 1960s British Invasion music which we grew up on).
Then the kayak came along and we finally found something recreational that we both enjoyed doing!
A new kind of feeling
We both enjoyed the leisurely trips appreciating the natural landscape on the quieter ponds or looking over all the beautiful waterfront properties on the larger lakes. We’d pick out houses and imagine them as our dream homes.
Expanding on that feeling
We found that we wanted to extend that peace and harmony into our everyday lives. And eventually, it did. We took the example of the teamwork we practiced in the boat and practiced it in our lives.
But there was more to learn.
I enjoyed kayaking so much that I began to daydream about it.
Sitting as close to the water as I could without being in it … warm sunshine on my face … surrounded by lush, sweet-smelling greenery … dragging my hands lazily through the warm, clear water … splashing the water on my hot feet … drifting downstream, letting the current carry me … taking time just to be …
God began to teach me, using the kayak and the water as His instruments.
The peace and harmony I experienced in the kayak with Rich, the delight in being carried downstream surrounded by water and greenery – these could be translated into a lifestyle, if I let go and allowed God to be that current that carried me.
Learning to go with the flow
I slowly started letting go, releasing all the anxieties that used to wake me up at 4 am in a cold sweat. I worried most especially about our finances and now those worries were slowly floating away downstream.
I no longer wake up at 4 am in a cold sweat.
I then began to realize my whole life could be that single flow, directed by God’s current. All the different roles, passions, interests could merge together into that one flow …
That’s what I’m learning to do now. And I’m still at the beginning point of the journey.
But knowledge is half the battle.
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