It was my first and only time white water rafting.
The sign read that they accepted people between the ages of 4 to 94.
That sounded promising.
I was a lot older than 4 and a lot younger than 94.
I pep talked myself into going through with this plan that my family had decided on.
It hadn’t rained in a while and I thought that would be in my favor.
I would prefer to do this in as shallow of water as possible!
It was the Delaware River and our children were in their early teens.
We put on our life vests and climbed into our family raft.
We had already been coached by the people who run this operation. I paid close attention to all of their directions. I didn’t want one mishap. I wanted to end this day with everyone alive!
I remember distinctly that the guide told us that we would come to two forks on the river. We were to go right at the first fork and then left at the second fork. Got it. The consequences of not following his directions would mean that we would get stuck amongst the eel traps. No sir…not me…
I’ve got this cemented in my brain.
Two forks…right…then left. Got it!
We set out. At first it seemed like fun and the water wasn’t too bad.
We were doing a good job as a family paddling and staying on course. We began to relax and even laugh a bit!
The sun felt good on our shoulders, the splashes of river water were welcome and I began to wonder why I had even felt anxious about this at all!
I could see it in the distance. Right. Go right.
We were pros. We sailed through the first fork without a hitch! This was too easy!
We even navigated our raft near some rocks to climb out and enjoy a packed lunch.
This was turning out to be one great adventure!
With more laughter now and feeling more sure of ourselves, we cast out into the river again. We were having a grand old time!
We could see it coming up.
Left…that’s what we’d been told.
We certainly didn’t want to get stuck amongst the eel traps!
And as we paddled left…
We noticed that all of the other rafts on the river were going right.
Right? Could we be wrong? Did we not get the directions correct?
Raft after raft after raft swept past us and they were all going right at this fork.
We were so close…we were almost completely at the entrance of the left side of the fork and we decided that we must be wrong.
I began screaming for everyone to paddle backwards!
We’ve got to back paddle. I don’t want eel traps.
Back paddle…faster! Put your oar in and use some muscle!
Go, Go, Go!
After much yelling and screaming and even crying…we managed to paddle against the current to get our raft lined up to enter the right side of the fork.
We weren’t going to need the coast guard after all!
Or were we?
Traps. Lots of them. Sharp rocks…eels! We had made a horrible mistake!
It seems as though we were right the first time, but had decided that since everyone else on the river was going right …they must be right.
But they weren’t. We followed the crowd that day and regretted it big time!
My husband had to climb out of the raft and deal with the sharp rocks and pull us to a reasonably safe place.
Our hearts were beating extra hard as we watched him struggle and slip to help us.
He did what he needed to do and I’m happy to report we all made it out alive.
We haven’t been white water rafting again and I can’t say that I ever want to again.
I’ll skip on the eels, traps, sharp rocks and strong currents.
The hands on lesson that day was a lesson my children will never ever forget.
Just because the world says to go “this way” does not make it the right way!
The world says many things today. The world has many opinions.
In some instances it’s as if people wear their “rights” as fine jewelry, but it doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…..But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Proverbs 14:12 “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”
May we dig into God’s Word and learn His ways for ourselves!