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So, Who's in Your Canoe?

"For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end."

Psalm 48:14

It was my very first canoeing trip with the youth group. My friend and I stood in line for our turn to enter our very own canoe and sail down the river stream as a team. Of course, neither of us had ever done this maneuvering of a water vessel before but how hard could it be, right?

As we belted on our smelly life jackets and was handed an oar we launched forward, full speed ahead, as if we were Gilligan and the Skipper. We were laughing and talking with other passerbys in our group, looking forward to a day spent sailing down the channel and making some really good memories.

No sooner did we get pushed off from the shore our boat headed straight for the bushes that hung out over the water's edge on the other side and we were stuck. We back peddled our way out of the hedge and very strategically turned the canoe around, finally heading in the right direction (I am sure we were giving the ones waiting in line to get into their craft a good laugh). We rowed the canoe into every bank before even getting out of eye distance of where we had taken off, realizing very quickly this wasn't as easy as it looks.

Not too long after trying to make our way another canoe rowed up beside us with one of our leaders and an older youth that was more experienced at this. They had decided it would be best for us to switch partners if we were ever going to make it down the watercourse while it was still daylight. I was to get into the other canoe with the 'older' (all of twenty-five; what can I say I was all of thirteen) youth leader and finish this feat.

Now you would have thought I would have been happy about this because I had worked up a sweat and was getting very discouraged at our progress, but I was still in the ride for the fun of it and I could tell this 'old guy' I was now stuck with took his canoeing prowess very serious.

As I climbed into the front of his canoe I knew all the laughs were over. He guided our boat down stream like a pro giving me directions and orders, using all the jargon of a mighty sailing man (this was an extremely calm water we were on, I might add). He had a book filled with all the botanicals and wildlife one might come across and we stopped 'often' to research a plant or leaf or creature sitting on the water's edge.

At one point we pulled aground on a sandy spot to have a snack, his duffel bag being stuffed with food and water and all the gear one might need. As we sat on a fallen log I watched as my friends sailed by smiling and waving (I thought with all the stops we were making, my first mate and I would have been fine in our wayward approach of crawling down this riverbed). Needless to say in my thirteen year old mind I couldn't let go of my idea of how I wanted to enjoy the day and be able to see his way of fun. I couldn't wait to finally get to the end of this journey.

"Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (Ps. 25:5)

God is our Guide through this journey of life. You can rejoice in the One who leads you through each day, He will never leave you. He is the One we can count on and He will remain beside you to the very end.

The Lord straightens out our canoes of life and sets us back on the right path. He will lead us when we keep our eyes on Him; He even gave us a wonderful, reliable book to help guide us and light our way if we would just pull over and read from it. And sometimes He might just send others (more wiser than you) across your path to lend a helping hand. God knows the best way for you to go; He made the way. Follow Him.

I love you & He loves you more!

Dear Lord, Your Word is a lamp to my feet, may I walk in it. You hold me by my right hand and are my Guide and counsel. Lead me on to glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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