Do not fall off the boat. If you do, never face the rapids.
It was my first time to go water rafting. I was excited. I’ve tried wild river rides in amusement parks and loved how I felt the rush though I feel like I’m never going to do them again every time. This is it, time to experience an actual wild river. The river guides started to inflate the boats. Each of us were handed life vests, helmets and a paddle. My head is too tiny for the helmet and the paddle is as tall as me. I approached the river guide to fix me life vest. It was tight and attached to me well, I felt secure.
We were asked to huddle for the briefing. Number one rule: Follow your commander. What type of paddling and when to paddle is very crucial. A mistake may cause the boat tip over. It seemed simple. The front and back paddle, and counting one and two. Easy.
I felt butterflies in my stomach when we were told that the package was being upgraded to advance. I signed up for beginners and now I’ll be spending four hours in the rapids. Now I’m being doubtful to continue.
To prepare us from worst case scenario, we were also briefed about falling. No one would want to fall at this time of year. Water level is low but the rapids remained strong, meaning you will hit rocks if you fall into the river.
First: Extend the paddle to the rescuer. Hold the paddle as instructed otherwise the rescuer might end up as a rescuee too. Second: Wait for the rope to be thrown at you. Swim, grab and wind it to your body so you can be pulled. Don’t tie it on your neck if you don’t want to get strangled. Third: If one and two fails, lie in the water and let yourself flow with the rapids. Never face it, you’ll drown. Wait for the rescuer, or simply do not let yourself fall into the water.
A quick practice then the adventure begins. The trial was easy, the actual paddling was hard. The rapids are too strong that we didn’t get the counting right at first. At times, the other paddlers play around and paddle when not instructed to. The commander raised his voice, and reiterated only to paddle on his command. There were moments when someone almost fell and someone hit his face with his own paddle. As we sail as a group, paddling became easy when we finally get the counting right and when everyone paddled as instructed.
Life flows continuously like those rapids. Challenges can be as big and small as the rocks. The river can be calm, but there can be snakes too. We are in the same boat as God, He is our commander and we hold the paddle. Follow His command and if we fall, trust Him that we will be saved.