Sunday, June 05, 2005

up a creek

I'm just back from a weekend at "Mom and Me" Camp with my 7 year old. Beautiful weather on the Oregon Coast, lots of fun camp stuff. If you've been doing camp for 30+ years, you forget how truely amazing it all seems to first and second graders experiencing it for the first time.

On Saturday afternoon we headed to the ye olde boathouse for a little R&R on the lake. My son raced over to a green canoe and began to jump up and down, speaking in tongues. I'm not an expert canoer by any means, but I know one end of the paddle from the other. I figured there was no actual danger in the two of us embarking on a brief cruise. We set off. The breeze was at our backs, we had no particular destination in mind so it did not matter than the kid's random, enthusiastic paddling was causing us to take a zig-zag course across the water. We saw birds, water bugs, fish, etc. Lovely stuff.

After twenty minutes or so, though, we were ready to head in. Now the wind was against us--and it had picked up. We had a goal in mind: the dock. Suddenly it was important that the kid follow my instructions on wielding his little paddle. But no. Twenty minutes on the open water and he considered himself an Olympic canoer. He had theories and opinons. We drifted farther and farther off course. We hit a partially submergerd tree. Finally I screeched at him to PUT HIS PADDLE DOWN AND SIT STILL. Sulking, he did. Five minutes later we pulled up to the dock. The lifeguard remarked, "I was thinking I was going to have to come out in the camp boat and get you!"

"Yeah," replies kiddo. "My Mom's not a very good rower."

After collapsing onto my bunk that night I reflected that perhaps this little excursion could teach me something about my spiritual life right at this juncture. I seem to have hit a patch of choppy water, yet I'm still up front paddling wildly--full of theories and opinions on how to get back to shore. Maybe at this point I'm meant to pull my paddle out of the water for a bit and let God chart the course.

What do you think? Does God sometimes hand us the paddle and say, "See where you can go with this . . ." And other times screech, "Put that paddle down and sit still for crying out loud!" And how do you know which instructions you're getting at any given point?

4 comments:

the reverend mommy said...

Cool to find another mommy/seminarian/preacher type. I'm enjoying reading. Welcome to the blogsphere.

What Now? said...

I love this metaphor for the spiritual life! I myself seem to be caught in a lull at the moment, not going anywhere at all (I guess that's more of a sailing metaphor).

Glad to have found your blog.

Friday Mom said...

Yes, that metaphor fits well from my experience. I wrote when I started blogging that I felt like God had given me the keys to my and told me to make my own decisions for awhile. I honestly don't know which is harder. I'm glad it's both.

PPB said...

I think so.