He had planned to go fishing.
But while I loaded the dishwasher he poured coffee and said, What are you gonna do today?
I said something about working on something.
We could go kayaking, he said.
I would love to go kayaking. Would you really give up fishing so we could do that? I said.
The answer was yes, and I know it cost him something to say that. Bless him. Soon we were talking about the where, and he said we would take the kayaks up to Columbia Falls and float down to the Presentine Bar fishing access.
The Flathead River.
A sweet friend of mine got caught in a log jam on that river, and I remember the wide-eyed look of fear she and her husband had as they sat in our living room and recounted the story. So I had my fears about taking on the river.
Plus my mom wouldn’t like it.
What if I’m scared? I said.
Then I’ll say, ‘Come on honey. Just follow me.’ And I’ll take care of you. He said.
And so I did. He held my canoe while I got in. He did defensive floating and looked way ahead for me.
See that big log sticking out of the water down there? Steer clear of that, he said.
Stick to the left here. You don’t want to get swept into that shallow water over there.
Now look ahead. We’re heading into some rapids, and they’re going to try to pull you to the left. You want to stay to the right.
When I didn’t get to the right soon enough he hollered at me.
Get to the right! Those rapids are going to come up sooner than you imagine!
(Of course, this is September, so we’re talking little baby rapids, but they seem more ominous to a book nerd in a kayak.)
And he turned around a lot. Always turning around to make sure I was close and heading in the right direction.
The river makes a Y here. We’re gonna go to the right.
It was a wonderful two and a half hours on the river. A beautiful fall day in Montana, and I saw country I had never seen before. Plus time with my guys.
It was a little scary. But then not so much with a good guy who had floated the river before me and knew what was coming around the bends.
This is who the Lord is for us today –a guide who doesn’t tell us to stay home because the way is scary or uncomfortable. But to come and live and trust him.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8