The Bad Place

Pause for important life lesson #2: just when everything makes sense, that’s when you should probably watch out – and that’s a good thing. God has shown me, and I think all of us, a lot of things on this trip. I think all of us have been outside our comfort zone in one way or another over the course of the past few days. Whether it’s been changing schedules, altering priorities, finding the right plane, or just (and most importantly) finding a way to connect with these children (and adults) we’ve come to minister to, it’s been a great growth and learning opportunity for all of us. It’s very easy to get locked in to our “normal” day to day lives as Christians and feel like we’re ready for any challenges to that routine and that we’re equipped to make it through those things we’re comfortable with. Where we run into trouble is when we’re forced to branch out into something we didn’t expect or we didn’t think we were ready for. I think that God gives us these opportunities so that we learn (or relearn) to put our faith in Him and not in our own abilities. We didn’t make it to the calmer route. The 30 seconds to 2 minutes that followed (time gets very relative when one is given an unexpected dunk in the river) are a bit of a blur, but I’m pretty sure of the following (and we’ll be able to confirm with video evidence tomorrow):
1) We didn’t paddle hard enough to make it to the calmer route
2) There’s a giant washing machine hidden in the Nile that apparently thought we were dirty socks
3) Nile water does NOT taste especially good
4) It’s a lot easier to ride inside a boat than outside a boat on the Nile (we had safety guides in Kayaks that came to fish us out after we tumbled through the rapid), but being outside the boat can still be comforting Honestly, it’s easy to kid about it somewhat now, but at the time it was one of the scarier moments of my life (and, I think, that of my 7 boatmates as they had similar experiences) for a few of those seconds…which brings us to important life lesson/reminder #3 (which Madelene has so aptly mentioned just now): Every second we have is precious and everything we do should be focused on serving God (and sometimes I think learning or being reminded of life/spiritual lessons from a swim in the Nile is doing just that). We aren’t guaranteed any more time on this Earth, which makes things like Sweet Sleep’s ministry that much more important.]]>