by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Pilot and I recently spent an enjoyable evening paddling a kayak in Galveston Bay. This was our second time in a kayak; our first time in a tandem kayak together.
The instructor of our paddle tour told us being in a tandem kayak often strained relationships. When I told our veterinarian Pilot and I spent the evening on the bay in the same kayak, he said, “Oh, no.” He and his wife each have their own kayaks.
Seems there are challenges when people share a kayak.
The youngest member of our group, I’ll call her Ariel, wanted her own kayak. After watching this 12-year-old in her kayak, that’s probably a good thing. I seriously doubt she would be able to share a kayak with anyone.
The person in front of a tandem kayak sets the pace and direction. The person in the back follows what the person in the front does. Whether they agree or not, does not matter. Since I am shorter than Pilot, I was told to sit in the front.
While navigating a tricky stretch of sea grass, I noticed kayakers ahead of us getting stuck, so I called out the strokes for Pilot to follow. Left. Left. Left. Right. Left. Right. Right …
We made it through the difficult bends and turns with no problem. The guide behind us even complimented me saying, “You know what you’re doing. You’ve kayaked before.” I smiled and told him I had. Once.
During the return leg of our trip Ariel was determined to beat everyone, including the guides, back to base. Her paddle windmilled through the air furiously, sending her on an erratic path our direction.
Because I saw this disaster in the making, I yelled out strokes. Left. Left. Left. But Pilot, not able to see Ariel’s approach, kept paddling Left, Right, Left.
Realizing Pilot wasn’t following along with my attempts to get us out of Ariel’s way, I told him to put his paddle down. Pilot put his paddle down, and we watched Ariel continue on her way, getting stuck in the process, arms flailing about her in a frenetic flurry.
All this kayaking business got me thinking about the times God gives us instructions in the way we should go. Left. Right. Left. Left. Left.
We may not understand why we should change course, but God does. He sees the dangers up ahead and wants us to avoid them.
Sometimes we listen. Sometimes we don’t.
I’m learning if we want to avoid the whirling windmills of life, we’d best either follow God’s lead or put our paddles down.
Any kayaking experiences you’d like to share?
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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road! Now follow it.” Isaiah 30:21 (CEV)
I wish you well.
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