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Under Control

Under Control

Having never been on a white water rafting trip before, I must admit I was more than a little nervous as we climbed onto the raft and pushed off from shore. My anxiety did not improve much when the guide informed us that the river was rising, currently moving at 17,000 cubic feet per second. But then she began to explain that she had made this trip more than 300 times, never had a raft tip over, and was confident we would all do a good job with our paddling assignments. As we went through the first set of rapids, you could just feel the confidence of all nine of us build as we handled the waves and the river without much effort. The further along we went the more in sync we became. Four miles into the trip, we were all a bit wet from hitting some big waves, but everything was under control.
I remember very clearly that our guide gave some instructions at one point about what to do if we hit a wave that lifted one side of the raft while it dipped on the other side. I also remember her giving instructions “just in case” we did happen to be flipped over along the way. But with each success we all had, the anxiety of the trip declined, the confidence built, and we all were quite proud of ourselves, assured that we could for handle whatever the Snake River had to offer.
Then came the section known as “Lunch Counter.” We watched the raft in front of us as they began to take on the raging white water. As always, our guide started shouting instructions that we all dutifully followed, with full confidence that our trip through “Lunch Counter” would be just like the raft in front of us. We had it all under control…The next thing I remember is going head first into river (pictures unfortunately revealed that I knocked Anne out of the raft in the process). Eight of the nine people, including the guide, got dumped. As for the rest of the story, suffice it to say that we all finished the trip safely, and it was a memory maker on our vacation.
It was also a great lesson about life. We spend so much of the time confidently assuming we have everything under control. We can handle it. Even when we get anxious over the future, just a little experience makes the confidence return, and we are back in charge. Our guide knew better on the Snake river that day. Repeatedly she tried to tell us that every trip was different, the river was totally unpredictable, you never know what’s coming next.
There’s still only one voice that knows what the wind and the waves will do next, only one voice who really has everything under control. God is good….and he does have everything under control!
John O. York

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