Welcome back!

Once you’ve discerned what you believe your God given destiny is, you’ll need to chart your course for reaching it. Back home in Montana we do a lot of whitewater rafting. I was like a lot of people, with skills proficient enough to regularly run Class III rapids, up to an occasional Class IV, without a guide. Those fortunate enough to spend more time on the water possessed the technical expertise necessary to regularly run Class IVs. For those of you unfamiliar with this awesome sport, Class V requires helmets and a huge risk tolerance, and Class VI represents commercially unrunnable water. What every whitewater enthusiast will tell you is that planning is critical for the trip, regardless of the level of difficulty. You have to know the water level, rate of flow, current and expected weather conditions, speed and direction of the wind, specific known hazards on the route, and of course, the best spots to land for lunch or dinner. While at first it is a cumbersome process to study maps, consult weather reports, take a dry run through the area, and talk to those who have made the run before you, over time these skills become second nature and at some point you can pretty much step out onto the front porch and know whether or not it’s a good day for rafting. You also develop the ability to make instantaneous decisions out on the river, because you’ve learned to take all of the information coming at you and quickly synthesize it into the most likely plan for success.

What every whitewater enthusiast will tell you is that even with the most expert knowledge and safest possible plan, crazy things can still happen. Every one of us, if pressed to answer the question would admit that this is half the thrill of the sport. It is mentally challenging, physically rigorous, and absolutely subject to the forces of nature. Back home I’ve unintentionally but safely gone backwards through a Class IV without a paddle. Yet in East Tennessee, a Class II I wasn’t expecting right around the first bend almost flipped me out of the raft. Every river is different on every day you run it, and that’s half the fun.

Until next time, I’ll be praying for you to look forward to the planning of your destiny trip.