ALL LEVELSOct 31, 2021
Most of us have a “bucket list” of things we want to do one day. Some people want to travel to exotic places, take a cruise, meet a celebrity, go on a mission trip, become an artist, play Pebble Beach, see their favorite entertainer perform, or learn an instrument or foreign language. My bucket list items typically involve travel and connecting with people. A few years ago, my husband and I planned a perfect vacation. Our goal was to unplug and connect with our teenage daughter and her 2 friends while spending time in nature making memories. We rented a Not-So-Rustic cabin (camping is not on my bucket list) in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia.
I was born with an adventurous, inquisitive spirit. During our stay, I decided we must go white water rafting. After all, you cannot do that at home in Florida. This would be the perfect bonding opportunity and memory maker. I sometimes try to do things that exceed my physical capabilities since I was born with limited athletic talent. In other words, I am in denial of my actual abilities and often think I can do more than I can. This time I knew I found the perfect match…the brochure said ALL LEVELS are welcome. I knew I could do it. It wasn’t long after we launched the watercraft, I learned that the brochure meant all levels of credit card or payment methods were welcome, not all skill levels. After we were had already begun our adventure, our rafting guide informed us that we were going to be traveling on Class 4 rapids during our trip down the river. That sounded fine to me, after all, everything looked so pretty and calm where we launched our raft. What I did not know was that Class 5 is the hardest level of rapids and we were paddling into rapids that were just a bit below those. The guide then informs us that we are on the same river that the US Olympic Trials take place. At that moment the denial breaks, I say to myself “OLYMPICS? CLASS 4? What happened to ALL LEVELS? I don’t think I should be on this raft; I must be on the wrong raft.” Meanwhile, there is no turning back and getting off this ride. YIKES!
The next 3 hours were both terrifying and exhilarating. My heart sank and I felt helpless and powerless as my daughter and her best friend were catapulted from the raft before my eyes. Fortunately, the guide was able to pluck them out of the water. My daughter said, “It was if the hand of Jesus came down and swooped me out of the water and put me back into the raft”. ‘Phew,” I said, “that was close.” My adrenaline is now surging and my anxiety has kicked in. My typical laid-back, joy-filled, happy-go-lucky self was nowhere to be found. I was well aware that if I flew off the raft, it would not be so easy (if not impossible) to hoist me back in. I knew I needed to do something to calm myself down so I did what I teach others to do. I started repeating a mantra. “OH, Jesus…Stay in the Raft, no matter what, stay in the raft.” “Stay in the Raft, no matter what stay in the raft.” all the while the guide was barking out his commands of up, down, left, right, duck…. “OH Lord…Just Stay in the Raft, no matter what stay in the raft,” I said.
Obviously, my husband apparently did not have the same Mantra. I had a mild panic as I saw him fly off the raft landing face down in the rocky river doing the dead man’s float after the comedian tour guided tried some fancy maneuvers. Fortunately, they were able to get him back in the raft, he was stunned and waterlogged but otherwise unharmed. Now I’m saying to myself “Whose idea was this, And I PAID for this torture.” Eventually, we arrived back at base camp, and my exhausted, waterlogged family had accomplished my goal of bonding and making a memory. Like many things that seem disastrous at the moment, they make great stories that can be handed down for generations.
I am so grateful that I serve a GOD that is truly welcoming to ALL LEVELS. There is no credit check, no financial commitment, no agility test or skill level required to receive the gifts of his strength, comfort, and love. With God, there is no false advertising, no bait, and switch. All God requires is a willing heart and faith as small as a mustard seed.
Do you have bucket list items? What actions can you take to cross some of these things off the list?
How are you connecting with the people in your life?
How are you making good memories?
What limitations are you putting on your relationship with yourself and with God?
What’s the most important thing for you to achieve in the next 12 months?
Reach out to me and we can craft a plan to help you get there.
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