Friday, October 04, 2013

A SLOUGH OF LESSONS

English: Aerial view of Moss Landing, Monterey...
English: Aerial view of Moss Landing, Monterey County, California, USA. The Elkhorn slough runs the area and about 6 miles (8 km) inland. The huge Moss Landing Power Plant is visible at the center. Coordinates: 36°48′21.95″N 121°46′57.55″W  /  °S °W  / ; latd>90 (dms format) in latd latm lats longm longs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
THIS PAST WEEK LINDA and I spent a few hours kayaking around the Elkhorn Slough.  We had gone kayaking at Elkhorn before, but as part of a docent–led tour group, this time we traveled by ourselves traveling at our pace, stopping to see what caught our eye.

The Lord blessed us with a most gorgeous day. We rode in with the tide and a gentle breeze and thus were able to leisurely paddle up the slough taking time to enjoy playful otters, loud-mouthed seals, great pelicans and thousands of terns, that’s because one good tern deserves another.

Being out in the midst of God’s creation always provides lessons of grace and this was not an exception.

Paddling with the tide and the wind to your back provides you the opportunity not to go slow and look and listen for the sights and sounds not afforded to those racing by on Highway 1. As Christians we need to take the easier times of life to slow down and look for God and listen for His still small voice.

Lesson two was provided for us as we prepared for our adventure. We were told  not to get too close to the wildlife. We learned that sometimes an inquisitive otter will actually crawl up onto your kayak! It was explained that this was not a good thing and we were to gently nudge them back in the water with our paddle.  For as cute and cuddly this furry little creatures may seem, they are wild and have sharp teeth and claws.  Kind of like sin; it looks harmless, even cute from a distance. You might even feel like giving it a hug…but it’s wild, untamed, and it will bite you. Its bite can come with grave consequences.  It’s best to keep your distance and if it’s moving toward you, paddle away.

One more lesson came as we turned back toward the harbor. Paddling against the tide with a stiff wind in your face makes paddling and maneuvering your kayak a lot more difficult. It’s not time for sight-seeing, but for putting your arms to work, paddling with purpose, and keeping an eye out for more sheltered places through which we could paddle. It’s not bad to paddle against the tide and wind, in fact there is a sense of accomplishment that comes from working hard, going against the flow and making it back home to calmer waters. In our journey with Jesus Christ, sometimes we are going to hit some headwinds, or have to paddle against the flow. It’s not the time for giving in or giving up, but for digging down a little deeper. It’s through these times that our spiritual muscles are developed. Having  accomplished  the journey we hear the voice of the Lord say, “Well done.”


More lessons to come, I am sure, and I am looking forward to another trip up the slough. Care to join us?
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