I didn’t expect to launch Lighten Up Gear from Lanesboro, Minnesota at 1:30 in the morning, but God had other plans for me today.
Outside of this camper, it’s raining cats and dogs. That might be a huge understatement. My iPhone has already alerted me of the flash flood warning in our area. Never mind the fact that our friends’ cabin sits on the Root River, and it was already pretty high and mighty earlier in the day.
But as my family sleeps soundly through the rain pounding against the windows and roof of this camper, I am reminded of how gracious God is. You see, earlier today we thought it would be a good idea to kayak the Root River so Josh, Betty (friends of mine) and I strapped on our life jackets and paddled downstream. We hit some great rapids but had a uneventful trip.
An hour later, Betty, my wife and my 3 sons were in tow paddling down the river. Jonah, my littlest, sat in front of me while my wife and Betty each worked with my 11 year-old twin sons. Just as my sons were getting the hang of kayaking, one of my twins plowed into a tree and tipped over in the rushing water.
I felt helpless. And scared.
Betty leaped into action and immediately bailed out of her kayak. With Jonah between my legs all I could do it let it happen as the swift river pushed us further downstream. Unfortunately back-paddling was futile as my arms and kayaking skills were no match against the swift current. With courage and calmness, Betty was able to get Caleb back into his kayak but she remained in the water for most of the trip downstream.
We finally hit a section of the river that slowed, and we managed to get all 3 boys safely on the river’s banks. Our friend Josh eventually found us and helped carry kayaks and kids up the steep embankment to his waiting truck.
How do you thank a friend that just saved your child’s life? I’m not sure I could put into words how grateful I am for her. Josh, Betty and their families are a part of our small group at church. We do life together. I hadn’t imagined we’d do life like that today. But like I said above, God had other plans for us today.
Today I also happened to be wearing my “They will know we are Christians by the fish emblems on our speeding SUVs” t-shirt. What a way to inaugurate that t-shirt.
To end on a “Don’t take yourself seriously” note, today we visited the Lanesboro Farmer’s Market and checked out some of the Amish’s booths. I asked Josh if he thought it would be a good idea to change my shirt up to read, “They will know we are Amish by the fish emblems on our speeding buggies.”
Without blinking an eye, Josh fired back, “Maybe, but I’m guessing your Internet sales aren’t going to be very good.”
Grace and peace,
Thoughtful and heartfelt post to say the least. We enjoyed living life with you and the rest of the group this weekend – E.
I’m not sure I’ve ever put a constructive comment on a website… I’m pretty sure you’re going to have to come up with a Noah themed shirt to commemorate the launch of this site and the epic kayaking adventure.