The water this past Sunday afternoon was calm in Pactola lake, even as the heavy rain clouds were gathering from the south. We had just reached the opposite shore when we heard the first rumble of thunder in the distance. I looked up and then immediately started to head back toward the landing beach. It doesn’t take much wind to stir up waves bigger than I want to navigate in my narrow little kayak. Besides, I don’t want to take a chance with lightening.
My paddle sliced into the lake and sent a cold shower into the air as I pulled hard against the water. Stroke left, pull. Stroke right, pull. Glide. Stroke left, again. There is a sweet simplicity to the rhythm of paddling a kayak. Left, right, glide. I like the hum that I hear in the fiberglass hull when it’s slicing fast through the water. My arms were getting tired, but the gathering clouds kept me racing against the stormy sky.
We have learned to avoid an open-crossing in Pactola, just to stay out of the way of the motorboats. I steer my kayak close to the shoreline until I can hear the waves tumbling against the slate stone that lines the perimeter of the mountain lake. I wonder how many times those rocks have been picked up, turned over and re-positioned on the shore? Over years, the water is smoothing the jagged edges. I wonder if my own jagged edges are getting smoother over the years? Some, yes. Some, not so much.
The waves of time are lapping on the shoreline of yet another September. Sunday worship shifts later (10:15 AM) to accommodate Sunday School class. The kids return to Confirmation and iPraise after school on Wednesdays. Bell ringers and choir singers gather to rehearse. Over years, I have been picked up, turned over and re-positioned on this September shoreline of church activities. I’ve glided in and out and learned that I always feel best when I keep my paddle in the water. This season of church-life helps to keep my rough edges smooth.
I invite you to show up, to plunge your paddle into the water, to look at the sky and to guide your boat near the shoreline. Volunteer, participate, ride the waves and float closer.