Our theme for the weekend was 'Up the creek with a...' and we had a few different devotions on the theme. In each one we talked about a different key piece of canoeing equipment and related it to our faith life.
If you don't know, the phrase 'up a creek without a paddle originated in the late 1700's in England. The military was worried that wounded soldiers were going to defect so they transported them up a creek from Portsmouth harbour on boats via a tramline. Thus once they were up in the recovery area they could not leave because they were up a creek without paddles.
Our first devotion talked about how God has given us this amazing paddle for our lives: the Holy Spirit. It has a powerful forward stroke that gives us power to push through the fast water and bad weather of our lives. It also has a perfect J-stroke which gives us direction. If you have ever canoed and the person in the back did not have a strong J Stroke, you know you end up going in circles and side to side.
Next we have the life preserver: Jesus. He has already died and saved us. But how many of leave this piece of equipment off? Oh we may take it out to go to church or for a youth event, but do we wear it every day. Do we wrap it snuggly around our chest so that we feel its reaffirming squeeze? Instead, we brave the rough waters of our lives without this vital equipment. We live in fear and doubt about how we are going to handle situations. We don't act because we might not succeed. But Jesus already did the hard part, he freed us to to amazing things because if we grab that life preserver and wear it daily, we cannot fail... cause he has already saved us.
It gives us stability. It makes sure that the wind and waves won't push us around. It helps us stay on course and true. Now you can relate this to a few things: God's Word, faith, or even God himself. But any way you look at it, this small piece of the overall boat (our lives) which most people cannot easily see when the boat is in motion, is key to its very ability to do what it needs to do.
So, is your keel in good shape? Are you grabbing that perfect Holy Spiirt paddle and wrapping yourself in that life preserver of Christ each day? I am pretty sure if you make the effort the results would amaze you.