Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just Moments Away

For my senior trip in high school, my class went white water rafting. Why the board of education would ever decide it was a good idea to send 90 teenagers down a rushing river just before graduation is completely beyond me. When I looked at the brochure I was a little nervous about the thought of it all. The whole water rushing over giant rocks to form a swirling vortex of doom was a little frightening to me. But the people in the brochure looked so happy...

The fact that my parents had to basically sign my life away so I could go on this trip should've sent off some red flags right away. But at 4:30 in the morning I boarded a greyhound bus with the rest of my classmates bound for a river in PA.

After securing our helmets and life vests we were off - just me and three other girls in one tiny raft.

On the first rapid we hadn't quite mastered the whole steering thing, got stuck on a huge rock, and had to get out and pull our raft around it.

At the second rapid, the guide pointed out an area to avoid, and since it was only about 30 feet from the first rapid, our steering hadn't been perfected and this madness ensued:

3 out of the 4 of us fell out of the raft (me being one of them -I'm in the white shirt). I bashed my knee against a giant boulder and had to swim back to the raft to be pulled back in. What I didn't know before I chose my raftmates was that 2 of them didn't know how to swim, and they happened to be the 2 that fell out with me. Seeing me swimming so easily they grabbed on, pulling me under.

When we all finally were safely in our raft again (2 paddles short) we didn't have enough time to make our meeting area before being sucked into the next rapid. We screamed for help but to no avail. We then waited near a rock for what seemed like days, all convinced that at the first opportunity we would quit.

My physics teacher said it was the only time that he'd ever seen me so frazzled. But with some encouraging words, and some switching among rafters we kept pressing forward and finished out the trip. Within minutes of my decision to continue on, I saw beautiful wildlife and conquered huge rapids in the face of fear. Believe it or not, it awakened me spiritually and set me on the path I'm on right now. (And since I injured my knee I had a pretty good reminder long after we were back on dry land).

I share this story with you because I think we all face times in our lives where we feel like we've been tossed from the raft and get lost in the current. It is so tempting to give up. At times I've felt it with this trip. I have a few days where I feel awful physically and think things would be so much easier if I just gave up.

But if I give up on going, I also give up on the blessings that God has in store for me. Giving up means I'll miss out on the transformation He's working within me. I don't want to live a life of mediocrity when it comes to my faith. I want to be open to His purpose for my life.

I've noticed that in the moments when I am most discouraged and feel like I just want to quit, if I just stick with it, blessing is just moments away. I don't want my fears to keep me from the blessing to come.

What about you? Do you feel like giving up? If you just keep pressing forward, could you be moments away from a blessing?

- Aly

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