for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching.
"LET GO OF THE TREE AND SIT DOWN!"
Ok, yesterday the verse was talking about the advice a father gives and today, the verse is referring to our response to that advice. I'll stop right here and tell you that if you haven't read my previous post (3/6/11), you need to go back right now and read it to appreciate this next story. What I am about to tell you has a lot to do with the forsaking of lesson #14. I'll pause here, while you go back and read or review.
So, I told you yesterday about how my Dad and I went on fishing trips together during my childhood. They were wonderful trips....except for one. This particular trip, we veered off from our usual routine and chose to take the boat out on a river. Perhaps that was the problem in retrospect, but whatever the cause, the trip went from bad to worse.
It started out good....egg sandwich~check...load the boat~check...wonderful drive~check. We arrived at the destination and unloaded the boat with ease. Everything seemed to be going like clock work. Once we had the boat in the water, the trouble started. Since the water level was up, the current (which we had never really dealt with before) was quite strong and fast. We manuevered up the winding banks through some pretty shallow spots. As we were navigating around rocks and fallen logs we came to a place in the river where the current was extremely swift and the water was quite deep in some areas and really shallow with rocks everywhere in other parts.
Dad explained that there was only one way to get through it safely. "It was really important that we keep the boat going straight", he said. I gripped the sides of the boat with my fingers dipping into the cold water (we were sitting quite low in our small boat), as my Dad put the throttle down. It was perfect as we headed directly on the path he had planned for us. But then, it happened. A huge rock came up out of nowhere and sheered off the prop pin from the motor. Yeap....dead motor right in the middle of a fast current.
I panicked and did the only thing that seemed logical at the time, I stood up and grabbed the first tree that was hanging over the raging river. I wrapped my arms completely around the tree and held on for dear life. I could hear water swirling around the boat and splashing against the sides. I secured my grip even tighter. The problem, of course with this maneuver, was that as I held the front of the boat in one spot, the current began whipping the back of the boat around moving it to a sideways position in the swift current. We were headed for a complete flipping into the frigid waters of this cool spring day. And then, over the loud roaring of what was the water rushing all around, I heard my Dad. He was yelling...."LET GO OF THE TREE AND SIT DOWN!!"
I couldn't believe it. Let go of the one thing that might save us?! Was he serious? I turned my head toward him just in time to see the bottom of the boat filling with water, and the horrified look on my Dad's face. It was at that moment that I had a choice to make. Do I trust my Dad and let go of the one thing that seemed to me to be our only hope for safety? Or do I trust myself and give in to the fear that was trying to control me? In one quick second, I decided to trust my Father, whom I knew had much more experience in the water than I had. With great effort, I forced myself to let go of that tree and I sat down. As I did that, the boat completely turned around and headed down the river backwards, but afloat. We had escaped disaster!
The parallels in this story between my earthly father and my heavenly Father seem so tangible to me. I wonder how many times that I have not applied His precepts, or worse yet, done the complete opposite of what He taught me. For reasons ranging from ignorance to fear, I know that I have disregarded directions from Him. Praying tonight for the Holy Spirit's help and counsel to practice a trusting heart and apply the truths that the Lord has laid in front of me in His Word.