Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rough Waters Ahead - Keep Paddling

Dear Young Women,
Earlier this week, I went river rafting with my extended family. It was a great time and something that my mom has always wanted us all to do together. Some of my family rode in a large raft together, but I was in a large tube by myself. In order to stay in the middle of the river, I had to paddle very hard in order not to drift to one side or the other where there were large rocks and hanging branches. I was very proud of myself because most of the way down the river, I stayed right on course. As I got to the end of the river, I found myself getting a little lazy - my arms were tired from paddling and it looked like I was so close that I could relax a little. Just as I began to relax, I went over some rapids that propelled me over towards one side. I quickly began paddling, but it was too late - I was headed for a large branch and a huge rock that was protruding out of the water. I put my foot out so that I could slow myself down, but it had exactly the opposite effect and it flipped me out of the tube and into the rushing water. I came up quickly and was able to grab my tube, but I couldn't pull myself back in because the water was moving too fast. I hit rocks and branches the rest of the way down until I was able to steer myself into an alcove and pull myself out of the river.
My river experience is similar to our lives - when we are doing the things that we should, we are in the middle of the river. Things like reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, listening to our parents, attending our meetings all help us to stay on course. When we neglect those things, we start to drift off and we start to get banged around...and it takes a lot of paddling to get ourselves back on course.
Even in the middle of the river it can be dangerous, but when we remain obedient we are prepared for the rough waters that we all encounter in everyday life. I hope each one of us will take the time to evaluate what we can do better to stay on course.
Have a great week and I'll hope to see each one of you at The Best of EFY this coming Saturday.