Building A Better Boat

This intentional tranquility doesn’t happen as often as I need it to…but this morning I’m in the moment. In my boat…well, kayak. In the center of the glass-like surface of Lake Wanatchee in Washington state. Floating. Musing. Calming my mind so I can listen. Watching the easy ripples take my frustrations and challenges to a safe distance from the boat.

Here’s what I inherently know: I’m flawed…deeply and darkly flawed. We all are. Thanks to Adam. But the good news is grace. Salvation. Jesus. Eternity settled. Hope secured! Once for all time.

Kenny Cheney recorded a song that I immediately resonated with; in that quiet private inside-me spot. The place that feels intense emotion…all the time.

A Better Boat (partial)

“I hate waiting, ain’t no patience in these hands
I’m not complaining, sometimes it’s hard to change a man
I think I’m stronger than I was, I let God do what he does
I breathe in, I breathe out
Got friends to call who let me talk about
What ain’t working, what’s still hurtin’
All the things I feel like cussing out
Now and then I let it go
Around the waves I can’t control
I’m learning how to build a better boat”
We brought a borrowed kayak along with one of our usual kayaks while traveling this summer. It is frightening to put on the water if there are any wind or waves to negotiate. It was not built for me. Not much for a rudder, so it responds quickly to any sudden lean or movement or outside influencer…such as waves.
On the other hand… my usual kayak…the one I’m used to, and it fits like a well worn pair of pants…is easy. Safe. It has a well-placed rudder that manages the wind and the waves.
Rudders, in a kayak, help stabilize your travel on the water. They provide “tracking,” the ability to stay on course as you paddle to your destination. A rudder actually goes below the surface… deeper than the waves.
I have felt the sting of the waves the last few years. I’ve been holding on to a boat with a diminished rudder. Oh I can see the shoreline of my ultimate destination…the hope of my salvation, but I’m working so hard to stay on surface…with a diminished rudder.
Maybe you’ve felt the waves trying to capsize your boat. It either forces you to hold your breath, or it takes your breath away. We find ourselves in a world of chaos (cannot type the word without thinking of KAOS-the evil entity from tv sitcom “Get Smart”) and a veritable storm right outside our safe harbors. Uncertainty and civil unrest, division among family and friends. We find ourselves in a rocking boat and we are taking on water.
Getting out in my better boat in a tranquil setting has sharpened the clarity of my true destination. The solitude has allowed me to listen and allow God’s Word…yes, His voice…to be the rudder in my faith. Being still. Reminding myself about trust. Bonding spirit-creation to Spirit-Creator. Listening to the Author of my course.
I close these musings with closed eyes; thinking of the disciples in the middle of a tempest in the Sea of Galilee. They feared they would perish in the storm. A noted contrast in the story is Jesus asleep in the boat. Ponder that. They cried out in their utter fear to Jesus. He stood and with a word…calmed the storm. Fully understand…these disciples were the ones He chose. Believers! Faithful! Sitting under the teaching of the Master! Disciples! Terrified by the storm within touching distance of Jesus!
Trust in the Lord-with all your heart.
Do not lean upon your own mind, thoughts, feelings or concerns or misdeeds or flawed actions.
Every time you step in the boat…consider the rudder…Jesus. Know Him!
He will navigate you through every storm and lead to to calm water.
Be still!

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