The boys & I spent 7 days last week on a Boy Scout High Adventure trip, canoeing 61 miles through 19 lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) on the Minnesota/Canada border.
Our trip was filled with fantastic visuals like beautiful sunrises/sunsets, lush forests, & streams covered with lily pads with colorful flowers.
It also provided some good tests. All of our food for the week, cooking equipment, tents, sleeping bags, & personal gear had to fit in a canoe. We had to be prepared to carry our gear & canoes over land between lakes. The boys were able to use a lot of their camping skills they’ve been learning the past few years like building a fire to cook every breakfast & dinner, selecting the best spot to put up a tent, & the value of preparing bear bags.
Of course, being in the wilderness does have its challenges:
- The BWCA is completely void of cell coverage. Say, are those moose tracks? Let me check my pho…Um. Yep. I think so. (Lack of access to 24-hour news cycles, while a bit discomfiting at first, actually became a wonderful retreat.)
- No caffeine.
- No bathing facilities. (What is the difference between a catfish & a BWCA canoeist? One has whiskers & smells; the other is a fish.)
- No caffeine.
- Rustic toilets = just a pit in the ground. I appreciated the humor of the comic that read, “If you don’t find these facilities serviced satisfactorily, please notify the front desk.”
- No caffeine.
We learned a lot during our week on the water:
- Persnickety eating habits fell to the wayside: “A cheese sandwich with 2 pieces of cheese & 2 pieces of white bread for lunch? Awesome! Can I have another?”
- Our picture of heaven became tweaked to be a place with a mattress, a hot shower, dry feet, & ice.
- As we followed our mapped route, we realized the importance of good navigation skills. You certainly don’t want to find yourself crossing a lake into a strong head wind and having that day’s navigator offering instructions like, “You are getting warmer….warmer….cold, cold, cold!”
Which brings us to today’s passage. (Wow, this Insight is meandering like a canoeist with a broken paddle – Editor. Or like a little brother in the back of the canoe barely putting his paddle in the water – DL.)
I would submit today’s discussion is challenging us to select the navigator of our faith journey. Whether we come from a strong or a dysfunctional network of friends & family, we need to be cognizant that their goals & desires may differ from God’s ideals. While they may provide us advice & counsel with the very best of intentions, this guidance may not necessarily sync up with God’s hopes & dreams for our lives.
Personally, I like the idea of handing over the compass of my life to the Friend who knows when I’m weary of paddling & in need of a quiet cove, who can calm the rough winds of life that can crop up in a moment’s notice, who can help balance the heavy load on your shoulders as you trudge up a steep incline, & who can calm your fears as you hear something rustling among the pots & pans in the middle of the night.
So, maybe today is a good time to just stop. Put your paddle across your legs. Glide for a few moments. Put your hands out. Ask Jesus to be your navigator, your advisor, & your constant companion for the rest of your adventure.
Oh, & while you are at it, maybe ask for a Pepsi. A Pepsi with lots of ice.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.