Chaos and Peace: Part I
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:37-39(ESV)
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I started whitewater kayaking when I came to Explore two years ago. Whitewater kayaking is an odd thing. You are sealed into a tiny little deathtrap(a kayak) then sent into churning masses of water totally devoid of any semblance of calmness and tranquility(the river). Talk about chaos. Honestly though, I love kayaking. It’s not as terrible as I made it sound above. True, when you encounter the idea of being upside down in a kayak unable to breathe there is an exponential growth in your perception of the risk involved in what you are about to do. After you have kayaked a while, your perceived level of risk begins to better correlate with the much lower actual risk involved. The kayak no longer feels so unstable; you begin to discern navigable lines through rapids you would previously had no idea how to run. Still, through perception or not, kayaking has taken me into various environments of chaos. What has been so rewarding is what I have learned about peace in paddling through those.
A story: I was pretty new at kayaking about to run one of the more difficult rapids of the season; a Class III rapid. The line I was suppose to hit ran right between two holes. A hole in a river is where water goes over an obstacle but then afterwards recirculates back upstream forming somewhat of stationary washing machine mid-river that will sometimes flip and recirculate boaters for uncomfortable amounts of time. I was suppose to cut left to miss the first hole, but that would put me in perfect line for getting caught in the second one. So right after I passed the first hole I need to veer right to avoid the second. The holes were pretty close together leaving a small window for me to make the necessary move. For the novice kayaker that I was, that window ended up being a bit too small. I missed the line and went straight into the second hole.
To Be Continued…
Scripture quotation from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright© 2001by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.