The River Guide

The river winds it’s way around the huge boulders and rushes past the calm and still of the scenery surrounding it. The contrast is breathtaking.  The sounds and sights of movement, energy, and majesty echo it’s voice to all who will listen…and yet somehow peace is also heard and even felt.  I’m observing from the shore and wonder how different it would be to be swept up in the river itself; to feel the movement. I see a boat and guide inviting us to get in. I’m drawn to get in and experience the journey first hand.  Maybe I should wait until I’m stronger, or more knowledgeable, but I know the Guide isn’t here all the time.  I’ve been here before and never seen Him. I’ve always wondered about the people I saw in the boats…how did they get there? Now I know. They were invited. The Guide promised He would lead me all the way.  I decide to go. I’m trusting Him.  I have no knowledge about any of this…of how to navigate or even how to hold these paddles. Am I crazy? Once enveloped in the movement of the river, everything changes.  The beauty of the river from the shore is overpowered by the exciting rush and power of the current.  It’s scary and exciting.  There is little time for shoreline views while in the rapids.  I must pay attention.  The directions that are screaming in my ear are partly safety for myself, but also a deep connection to The Guide. I start to fear and hope for a placid place. I’m not very strong, and I’m getting so fatigued from the paddling and steering. I can’t keep up.  “Just a little longer”, The guide mouths to me.  I can’t even hear the words, I have to look as often as possible to read His mouth or see His gestures. The calm finally comes. I breathe deeply and see the shore and see it dotted with people contemplating this journey.  I smile at The Guide and then at them.  I am giving them a signal from my heart, not my head.  Before we lose sight of them, I mouthed the words “It’s worth it”. Speaking it to someone else spoke with faith the truth I knew in my heart…that this decision was a good one, a necessary one, a fulfilling one. Yet, as I enjoy the moment of rest in the calm, I find myself looking for the white frothy water, indicating the adventure and excitement that I know will be found in the rapids.  The guide is looking at me once again.  I see love and commitment in His eyes.  There is also a question there.  Will I trust His experience over my feelings?  I nod. That is all He needed from me. We made it through another bend and after the thrill and urgency is over, I know a peace…I’m glad I listened.  I feel safe in the directions even though they really didn’t make sense to me.  I would have stopped paddling at the wrong moments or paddled when I should have rested.  I realize the river is nothing and The Guide is everything!  I didn’t realize that from the shore.  I wonder what I will learn around the next bend.  I wonder what I will see and hear.  Most of all, I wonder about The Guide and why he loves me enough to stay.

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