Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | 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 2014 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.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Calloway HS Teacher Receives Kentucky 2014 Outstanding Business Teacher Award

CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (7/26/14) — Vicki Simmons, Calloway County High School Business teacher, received the 2014… Read More

MCCH Volunteers Provide More Than 530 Free Sports Physicals for Local Athletes

MURRAY, Ky. (7/26/14) — A team of seven volunteer physicians, four APRNs and 31 other staff recently provided free… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 24, 2014 3746

Powderly Man Injured in Apparent Gun…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 2700

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 24, 2014 2644

Madisonville Man Charged for Drugs,…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
July 23, 2014 2247

Greenville Family Loses Home, Possessions…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 25, 2014 2066

No One Injured in Truck-Train Collision

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 23, 2014 2700

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - July 23,…

in Top Stories by Crime Stoppers
July 24, 2014 2644

Madisonville Man Charged for Drugs,…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
July 25, 2014 2066

No One Injured in Truck-Train Collision

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 25, 2014 1349

Vehicle Strikes Lawn Mower Driven on…

in Top Stories by Dep. Mike Evans
July 24, 2014 1043

Hopkins County Fair Provides Family Fun

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 23, 2014 1505

Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Meeting…

in News by Sherry Girten
July 23, 2014 1448

Fall Baseball League Registrations

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 24, 2014 1287

US 231 Ohio River 'William Natcher'…

in News by Keith Todd
July 24, 2014 966

Maintenance Scheduled at Fisher Park and…

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 24, 2014 823

Portion of Spring Bank Drive Closed…

in News by Sherry Girten

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 24, 2014 3746

Powderly Man Injured in Apparent Gun…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 2247

Greenville Family Loses Home, Possessions…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 23, 2014 1960

Swinging for Sadie Raises $6,000 for…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
July 24, 2014 1694

Muhlenberg to Have State's Only Honey…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 24, 2014 1255

Marching Mustangs Band Camp Underway

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03