Repeatedly, people have a tendency of assuming normalcy in life simply because of daily routines which often lead to the perception that their life is in control. Regardless of how much one may attempt to go through existence thinking all is organized the days and weeks are pre-planned, at any given moment one incident can alter the most minute or rudimentary routine: car trouble, God forbid a fire, accident, severe illness or even death. An unpredictable occurrence can alter the state of your mind and often times cause your faith to waver.
In 1998 I stared death in the face when a friend and I took some Scouts Whitewater rafting down the Oconee River. A beautiful spring day, everything going as planned with nothing to fear. There were experienced guides on hand as well as we both were skilled swimmers. ‘I’ felt no danger and believed it would be a great adventure for these young men ages 12-16. For you who may not know the Oconee River was the site used during the 1996 Olympics for Whitewater rafting which is rated at a Class III and IV rapids. What that means is the water may include small to medium waves, small drops, some rocks, but no considerable danger.
There is a point down the river where our guide decided to have fun by creating a “Left over Right” where the raft flips or rolls side over side causing the craft to perform a 360. Envision the craft rolling starboard side first with all passengers staying seated under water and resurfacing again provided all do their part. Well we did not follow directions some held on others bailed out. My years of swimming and training meant nothing when the water’s under current consumed me so long where I thought life was over. The swiftness of the under current creates a vacuum affect that will keep a swimmer from breaking free. For about 60 seconds underwater (it seemed longer) I saw my life flash before me while trying to break loose. I was in sheer panic mode!
How did I regain composure, find a way to re-emerge and float down the river? I have to say it was the Spirit of the Lord that saved me. Though the water held me back, my weakness kept me from swimming nevertheless the grace and mercy of the Lord gave me an opportunity to thank Him as I lay prostrate and floated down the river. One thing my mind continuously rewinds is the beauty and splendor of the river hearing my heart beat underwater and thanking God for allowing me the opportunity to survive.
As you trek forward in life be thankful for every second of the day because we can’t see the storms which are right around the corner. Pray for yourself as well as others. Encourage one another; give thanks for the little things in life: your family, their smiles, Or a sunset that paints the evening sky with burnt orange and amber colors that give way to the sparkling star diamonds of a midnight blue sky.
Take time now to witness a sun rise against a light blue canvas splattered with floating pink cotton candy clouds and thank God for every moment of your life. By doing these this you are preparing yourself for those unexpected eruptions in life because when your life flashes before your eyes you will not have time to think of praying. Remember tomorrow is not promised.
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