This past weekend Willis and I and a group from our church went canoeing down a small river. It’s an annual event at our church and one of my favorite activities of the year! There’s just something peaceful and relaxing about floating down a river with the sun shining in through the trees, the water gently lapping against the boat, and some mischievous teenage boy trying to splash you with his oar. Okay, so the last bit isn’t really relaxing but it is a lot of fun!
Because we are using canoes we always have to bring an even amount of people so as to have two people per boat. Usually, couples canoe together and then everyone else splits up into pairs, but you wanna pick your partner well or you’ll end up tangled in tree roots on the river’s bank!
To canoe well, you must have two partners who are working together and are in sync with the movements of their oars. The person in the back of the boat is who will be giving the main direction as well as “manpower”. The one in the front gives the extra “boost” of energy to keep the boat moving swiftly.
If the canoer in the back was the only one doing any of the work, they’d tire after a while and if the canoer in the front did all the work, they’d have a hard time keeping the boat going in the direction it’s supposed to go. As long as the water was flowing smoothly in a straight line, it didn’t really matter who was doing the paddling or even if either were at all. The water would gently carry the canoe along lazily. It was during these times we kicked back and relaxed and let the water take us where it willed.
BUT WATCH OUT.
The river could change quickly and within seconds you’d find yourself stuck on a rock or headed toward the bank about to get stuck in a downed tree.
YOU HAD TO BE AWARE.
YOU HAD TO WORK TOGETHER.
Life is the same way, right? It’s of vital importance who your partner is because they will help determine the direction your life goes. They will give you the energy (or lack of) to go through life’s up and downs. When life is sailing along smoothly they will be there to enjoy the ride with you but when things take a turn downhill you want to make sure they will be there to paddle through with you.
Willis is the canoer sitting in the back. He gives direction to our family by the vision that God has given him for us. He helps steer us in the right direction, away from the traps, snares, and river blocks of the world. He also gives a lot of power to the boat as he swiftly paddles with strength. BUT without a partner in the front, he’d soon get tired and lose momentum.
I’m the canoer in the front. I aid in keeping the boat going the way it should, though that’s not my main focus. My primary job is keeping things going, keeping the boat moving swiftly along, and giving that extra boost of energy and momentum.
Neither of us could canoe on our own and neither of us can keep our family moving in the direction that God desires on our own. We must be in sync with each other or progress will be halted.
Single people: Are you seeking out someone who will be in sync with you through life and help move you in a godly direction?
Those in a relationship: Is the person you are with going to work alongside you not only in the smooth sailing times but also in rough waters?
Married couples: Are you as a couple working together in the ways that God has given you specific strengths? Husband, are you giving your family direction? Wife, are you bringing momentum and energy to your daily lives?
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12