Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - Just Hang On

ronniemcbrayer300 maroonKENTUCKY (4/28/13) - When I was a bit younger and a bit braver, a group of friends and I shot the rapids on the Ocoee River in southeast Tennessee. The Ocoee, which I think is the Cherokee word for “terrified rafter” is a world class whitewater adventure.

Now, I’m no world class athlete, and that became evident on the river. I so feared being sucked out of the boat that I literally dug my toenails into the rubber raft I was paddling. But by the time we finished, I was on a first name basis with rapids named Broken Nose, Table Saw, and Diamond Splitter – and it was an incomparable thrill.

Whitewater sports began quite accidentally on this river. The Ocoee is dammed to produce electricity. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has operated their dams for years, and for the longest time, TVA’s production of electricity killed the river. Only a trickle of water, no more than ankle deep in places, flowed through the gorge.

But in the late 1970s a portion of one of their dams broke, sending the full force of the Ocoee through the canyon for the first time in decades. Whitewater outfitters and kayakers jumped all over the opportunity, setting up impromptu river tours. After the dam was repaired, legislators were wise enough to pass laws to protect the recreation that had developed on the river. So, for 112 days a year the Ocoee River is “turned on” for kayaking and rafting enthusiasts.

On the morning I arrived at the river there was nothing but rocks. “How are we going to shoot the rapids when I can rock-jump across the river and never get wet?” I asked my guide. Speaking like a cross between Jedi-Master Yoda and some drug-empowered oracle he said, “Sweat it not, dude. The water is coming.”

He was right. The water was coming. Thirty miles upstream the water had been released. It took a little while to get there, but as I watched, the babbling stream turned into a torrent of whitewater, and the adventure was afoot. The power of those rapids was incredible. I couldn’t dictate to the river with my little paddle and rubber dinghy any more than I could turn on or off the dam’s floodgates.

There was no control over the water; I had to go where it pushed me. Sure, at times I could steer, paddle or even stop, hiding behind a huge rock; but when released over the rapids all I could do was scream, flay at the water, and pray. The power of the water had been unleashed, and we were just along for the ride.

Living out the life of faith is a lot like that. We have our raft, paddle, and are in this boat with our friends on the same journey. What began as a dribble is now an unstoppable flood. We are paddling along best we can, moved by the unleashed Spirit of God.

And sometimes we are more than moved. Sometimes life and faith are not placid escapades of reflection and peace. Instead, the journey of faith becomes a bone-jarring exercise in survival, crashing over the rocks and through the rapids, threatening to drown us. We are often jostled from the security of our raft, forced to scream out of desperation for a rope or lifeline of rescue. We struggle and fight just to keep our noses above the water line.

We may get the relieved opportunity to list in quiet pools, catching our breath and resting our muscles from time to time. But then, the water will pick up and we are on our way again. Sure, there are things we can and should do along the way: Pray, hang on, watch out for our friends, and paddle like our hair is on fire. But ultimately we are riding the wave of God as he does his good will and purpose. His power has been turned on in our lives, and all we have to do is hang on and let it take us where it will.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.

 

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Burrough: Tech Center Construction on Schedule

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (01/23/15) ― Hopkins County Schools Career and Technology Center construction is on target at its… Read More

Spelling Bee Contest Winners Announced

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/24/15) — Madisonville Community College hosted the 2014-2015 Hopkins County Spelling Bee on… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 19, 2015 8675

Two-Year-Old Child Dies after Being Struck by…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul Ray
January 19, 2015 8572

UPDATE - Lady Mustangs Fall to South Warren

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
January 23, 2015 6780

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Top News For All Sites by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 6705

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 19, 2015 6690

Muhlenberg Board of Education Special Called…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Sherri Miller
January 20, 2015 6407

Bridal, Prom, Pageant Expo Planned for February…

in Hopkins News by Dana Brown
January 23, 2015 5222

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 5035

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 21, 2015 4633

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 22, 2015 4456

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 23, 2015 1503

School Board Hears Public Comments Regarding…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 24, 2015 1181

Five Injured in Two-Vehicle Collision

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Chris E. King
January 24, 2015 1052

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
January 24, 2015 984

Spelling Bee Contest Winners Announced

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Joyce Riggs
January 24, 2015 859

Kentucky 2014 Highway Fatality Figures Released

in General News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 24, 2015 823

PSC Bars $54 Million in Kentucky Power Fuel Cost…

in General News For All Sites by Andrew Melnykovych
January 24, 2015 806

Keeping the Faith - 'What It's Good For'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 24, 2015 744

Burrough: Tech Center Construction on Schedule

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 24, 2015 730

Busting the Myths of Leadership

in General News For All Sites by David Taylor
January 24, 2015 717

Hooked on Science - Feather Balance

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flr subscribevideoitunessocial rss