Larry, my summer intern that year, talked me into a whitewater rafting trip to launch the summer for our students.
It was my first summer in my first “real” ministry position and I had never even been rafting; but Larry had spent two summers as a guide for a rafting company on the Kern River in California.
I was in the first group and Larry gave us our instructions. The one that stuck in my mind was, “If I say paddle; paddle as hard as you can until I say stop!”
When we got to the scariest rapid of the trip Larry yelled, “Paddle!”
And I’ve been paddling ever since.
Recently I entered a new season in my life. Now the paddle is across my lap. I can finally enjoy the view around me. The sun is on my face.
The water is smooth and glassy. The mountains around me are majestic. I finally heard Jesus’ still, quiet voice whisper, “stop paddling and rest.”
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Matthew 11:28 The Message
My prayer for this summer is that you will stop paddling —feel the sun on your face — see the majestic beauty around you and rest!
Tim Pettey is pastor of Sunnyside First Baptist Church.