Sometimes life is like a kayak on the highway. This may be a strange allusion to some, but I’ll make my point anyway.
Every year our family meets at Crystal Beach in Canada to spend a week of fun in the sun. This year I was given a kayak for my birthday. My sister has one as well, so we decided that we would take them to the beach this year.
We were beside ourselves with excitement! The thought of putting those things in the water and tooling around in them whenever we wanted throughout the week was as smooth and cool as a Beach Boys song on a sunny day in California.
I did everything I could to make this happen. My sister bought me a kayak rack only to learn that I needed to buy an extra rack from the dealership to make that work. I did it. Two days before the trip, my sister and her husband helped me install them. We tested them it and it worked like a charm.
I had to register the boats. The day before my trip, I was entertaining a friend, and the line for registration was too long. I wasn’t going to waste the day waiting and miss an opportunity to be with a friend, so I decided to go the next day. I woke up bright and early in the morning. My sister and her husband, who made a special trip to make sure they were tight, tied the kayaks to the roof the night before. There I was at the DMV — kayaks at the ready. I registered them. Good to go.
Car packed, kayaks atop the forester, I looked like a genuine outdoorsman. My sister and niece followed behind me as we motored without a care in the world down the highway. I look out the side of my window and there’s my sister’s pink kayak clinging to a tie and falling to the side off the car.
I pull over and my sister, who was horrified by the sight, helped me hoist it back on the top of the rack. Lucky for me, my Eagle Scout brother-in-law was right behind us and there to help me tie it tighter to the car. We rigged a system where we tied them together at the front and took Bundgy chords to make it more wind resistant. Cars and trucks are zooming by and thoughts of one of them crashing into us or clipping us ran across my mind more than once.
I was so careful, I even took the strap and held it as I drove. I could’ve easily tied it to the hook in the front seat, but I was making a statement. I was going down with the proverbial ship if I needed to. My sister suggested we just “leave them on the side of the road to let someone else deal with them”. After a stop to check our ties, we soldiered on. I was worried about them flying off again and that occupied my time for the three and a half hour trip.
We arrived at the beach and it was a perfect day for boating. After the arduous trek and lugging supplies up and down a hill to ready ourselves for the week, no one was willing to get the kayaks in the water. Let’s do it tomorrow. We’ll need three people: one to drive the car and two to drive the boats. A week later and the kayaks never made it off the top of the car. I didn’t want to bother anyone and decided that the ties were so strong that I hated to undo them. They’d be perfect for making the trip home, and I wouldn’t have to worry about them being too loose or losing my load only to have them smash into another car and cause a serious pile up.
We take chances only to never really experience the fullness of life that we deserve. We become reticent and fearful, limited in our thinking. We consider all that could go wrong rather than relishing the moment and the beauty of what is right and good.
Sometimes we think we’re at the mercy of circumstance when all we have to do is put the boat in the water, sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Put the boat in the water. Stop making excuses.
We’re called to be courageous in life and treasure the gifts of God’s grace…
I’m determined to get a kayak in the water. I’ll try it again next year. I hope the weather’s good…