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Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Kayak is Pretty Beat Up

There are the big ones, you know? The ones that we can all point to and say, That one. That one right there made the difference in my life.

Imagine yourself in a kayak. Now, imagine that everyone who influences your life nudges your kayak in one direction or another.

For example, eight years ago I was floating down my Life River when I "bumped" Becky Tirabassi at her conference. I was floating down the Haphazard River of Meeting with Jesus when she floated up to me (and about 400 others) and said, "Make and appointment with the King and keep it." Then, off she floated.

That bump right there was a turning point in my River. I took a turn down a new River of Commitment and it changed my life forever.

She was a Slammer.


Kayakers like her have bumped my Kayak completely off course and set me straight more than once. Others would be Beth Moore, John Piper, and Andrew Murray. They are the ones that become anchors of lifechange moments. They are the ones that leave a mark on you Kayak of Life.

There are also the Bumpers.


These Kayakers are the ones that you have around you all the time. Friends that are consistent in what they pour into you. They are the ones that can point out that you're headed the wrong way and give you a "bump" reminding you of who you are. They also give you the bump you need for encouragement, laughter, or someone to cry with. They are with you through every kind of rapid in your life to the smooth waters of peace. One of my Bumpers is my husband. Others are close friends and family.

There are the Adjusters.

These are people we bump into that straighten our boat up a bit or add a new line of thought to who we are. Things like a passing comment on a blog, or a one-liner in a sermon on the radio. An underline in a book. It could be the passing conversation you have with someone about their marriage that makes you go home and make a small adjustment.

Slammers and Bumpers can be these kind of people too, but an Adjuster is something usually simple and makes you nod your head a bit. For instance, a friend of mine in passing said that she cooks for her husband, not her kids. Meaning, she cooks with him in mind. Not earth shattering. Not something that will send me into the throws of confession or worship, but something I can put in my Thought River and adjust to that. She bumped an adjustment in my life.

Oh, but there are the Rammers. Those people or circumstances that would ram us off course. When you have a Rammer in your life, you better be lookin' to your Slammers and Bumpers. They will help you hold fast against the Rammer. Don't fight with them. Don't throw your paddle at them. Just get close to those who uplift you and pray for you.

All of the above people have shaped my River's Ride. Looking back I see twists and turns through Level 5 rapids. I see long stretches of peace and serenity. I see forks in my River that have been avoided and I'm the better for it. I see tight spots that I barely squeezed through and wide open rides of laughter and joy.

Yes, my River is most certainly shaped by those I have been riding with. Of course, the Greatest Slammer is the One who created my River. There is no one else I'd take this ride for. He's the reason I keep paddling, fighting, surrendering, and living. He is the best joy ride on the planet.

Who's bumped your Kayak?
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all m prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel...
Philippians 1:3

In the River with you,



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9 Comments:

Blogger Betsy Markman said...

Wow, a whole boatload of new terminology to help me think about my walk...er...paddling! :)

Piper and Moore have been big in my life, too (and Murray to a lesser extent). Thank God for those "slammers!"

October 30, 2008 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Bless you for sharing this.

October 30, 2008 at 5:36 AM  
Blogger TCKK said...

Thanks for giving me something to think about today. Great analagy. Beth Moore has touched my life too, along with many others.

October 30, 2008 at 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Cindy Beall said...

A good one, my friend.

October 30, 2008 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

There are so many people who have influenced me in the 51 years I have been on earth....

A dear woman who mentored me for years (Darien Cooper, author of You Can Be the Wife of a Happy Husband, The Beauty of Beholding God and A Wise Woman Honors God Bible study)

Authors such as Hannah Whitall Smith, Andrew Murray, Larry Crabb, Mark Buchanan, Wayne Jacobsen, Alicia Britt Chole, Ken Gire,

John & Stasi Eldredge and their teachings that first introduced me to God's relentless pursuit of my heart.

Many friends throughout the years who have spoken truth into those broken places.

I am grateful for those Papa God has put in my life to breathe His breath on me.

October 30, 2008 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Esthermay said...

Best Adjustment-Post I've seen in awhile. This one gets printed for the cover of my Bible. THANK YOU for this.
You've put a whole new slant on things for me. I'll be talking KayakingLanguage for a few days now and DH will be twisting his brows trying to figurrr it out!
:-)
...John Piper keeps me straight too. If everyone heard a John Piper sermon on Sunday a.m., the "Christian" world would certainly be a different place!

October 30, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Anonymous Sallie said...

Great post!!

October 30, 2008 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Wow, great analogy for a powerful message!

October 30, 2008 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Natalie @ I AM (not) said...

Thanks ladies! I'm sure all of you are those, well, except the Rammers. Don't be one of those! :)

Blessings!!!

October 30, 2008 at 9:22 PM  

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