Lessons learned while Kayaking: #1 Do not panic!
Sunday, I took my kayak out on the lake for the first time this year. I was so excited!!! Kayaking on the lake is much more fun and peaceful than the river. I got to Main Street Beach and launched out. I had my life jacket on, phone (for pictures of course) and other necessary items secured in my waterproof bag…all systems go.
I was paddling along for about ten to 15 minutes…enjoying the sunshine and the waves and the quiet. I decided to coast for a little bit to soak it all in and relax. That morning we had a powerful healing service in church…and I got to enjoy God’s presence with His people — and now a few hours later I was enjoying His presence in another part of His creation…Lake Erie and sunshine! I love being outside!
As I was coasting and soaking it all in…half way to my destination, I heard a sound…a gurgling sound…I turned around to look at the back of my kayak and that’s when I noticed the one thing I didn’t check before I launched…the stopper. If I had checked, I would have known that it was gone. Vanished. Not there.
They put holes on one of end of kayaks so that you can drain the water out when you are finished. It is on the top of the kayak and on a river really wouldn’t be a problem but on the lake where it is wavy and boats create a lot of wake, it could be a problem. I decided it wasn’t that big of a deal and started rowing again. I figured I could drain it at my destination before I turned back for the return trip. I went another 10 or 15 minutes. That is when I saw the water by my feet. I decided it was time to turn around. For a brief moment, I felt a little panicked. After taking a deep breath, I knew I was fine…I had my life jacket, everything valuable was secured and I was prepared. Even if I capsized or sank, I wouldn’t die. I would just have to swim to shore. I continued paddling back to the beach, enjoying the journey (and taking a few pictures along the way).
It made me think that life is a lot like kayaking. We prepare as much as possible for problems we think we will encounter on the way but something always comes up that we weren’t anticipating or simply overlooked. We can look at the circumstances and begin to panic which only makes matters worse or we can look around, assess the situation, and decide even in this I will relax and enjoy the journey. And take some pictures along the way!