Making our destiny our reality is a lot like a whitewater rafting trip. It’s our job to meticulously plan for every conceivable variable, then put the raft in the water and get going. But beyond that, the trip will take on a life of its own and we need to have confidence in our skills to either guide us safely through or tell us when to land.
Successful whitewater rafting begins with a map of the area you want to run. These maps are usually waterproof and are intended to be taken with you on the river. They mark where the rapids are and what class they are. What won’t appear on the map, but is something you’ll look for and learn every time you’re out, is what specific hazards are on that particular stretch of water on that particular day. Perhaps there’s a felled tree with an eddy that spells trouble. Or a submerged piece of debris that can damage a raft if it catches it. Or it may be that what shows on the map as a roiling Class IV is only that way very early in the season when the water flow is highest, but in late summer when water levels have dropped to their lowest, it’s a yawner of a Class II. Knowing the challenges you’ll face in advance will help you meet them strategically.
Once you have the basic knowledge of the area down, the next step involves studying the expected weather conditions. Weather is always the biggest variable on the trip. Two things are critical to know: whether or not storms are predicted, and what the wind is like. Many rafters like myself will still go out if there’s a chance of rain, but absolutely not if thunderstorms or high winds are predicted. I’ve had otherwise placid stretches of river turn into vigorous workouts because the wind was so strong. Once you’ve got all that figured out and the trip is a go, it’s nothing but pure excitement while you drop one car off at the take-out point, pile everyone into the rig for the drive to the put-in point, and then get out on the water!
Until next time, I’ll be praying for you to start studying the terrain of your life and the prevailing winds, so we can get you safely out onto the water.