Riding the Rapids

Thursday June 10, 2010
Looks intimidating, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought when I found myself floating amid rocks and churning water. (Well, I really probably thought, “Aaaaah, what do I do now?”)

A couple of weeks ago, I went along on the Senior Trip for my son’s graduating class. It was a great time, and I went whitewater rafting for the fourth time.

But this was the first time I had ever been dumped into the rapids.

I had listened to the instructions, but it all happened so quickly. I knew I was going out, so I closed my eyes and went with it. After my head bumped on a rock (thank goodness for those helmets), and my back followed suit, I bobbed to the surface and saw the yellow paddle.

Our guide had told us that if someone was “violently ejected” (his words, but I can vouch for his word choice), to extend our paddles to them as soon as they surfaced. When I saw that yellow paddle, I asked no questions, but reached up and hung on for dear life.

Once the paddle pulled me close enough to the raft, the guide hauled me in. I was no worse for the wear – except for a few bumps and big, long-lasting bruises – badges of honor, really. My sons were really rather impressed that Mom had been dumped in Class 4 rapids and lived to tell. (That made it worth all the bruises!)

Later, at the campfire, we talked about the lessons of the day. Someone pointed out that all of us who were tossed in the drink reached quickly for those paddles. There was no thought of pride or self-reliance – we gladly accepted the help we were offered.

When we get off the path, when we hit a bump in the road, we need to reach for the help that’s offered.

There’s no place for pride among moms – we need to offer an outstretched hand to one another, one free of judgment and full of compassion. And if you’re the one bobbing the water, ask no questions and leave pride behind. Just breathe a prayer of thanks that an outstretched hand is there.

Have you found an opportunity to offer an outstretched hand?

Do you remember a time you were thankful to be hauled back into the boat?

4 comments:

Diane said...

Love your tale and you are your son's hero even more. I love the advice, just reach for the paddle. Thanks for sharing. :O)

Jean Wise said...

Greta lesson and one easy to remember - reach for that paddle! glad you were alright, though

Irritable Mother said...

Laura, you are so right. There is no place for pride among moms! So sad, though, when so many put on masks and act like they have it all together.
There is a lot of freedom in admitting you're in the Class 4, and just reaching for the paddle.
I know - cuz I've been in both places. Thank You, Jesus, for setting me free!!!!

Karen said...

Laura, I didn't know you fell out! Glad you are okay. It is okay to grab a help and be a help. Thanks for those thoughts.

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