This last weekend Scott and I enjoyed a wonderful boat trip to Solomon’s Island, MD. The journey takes about 5 hours by boat and requires heading south on the Potomac River with passage through a short section of the Chesapeake Bay. We had great weather for our travels there and better than expected for our stay at a local Maryland marina. It is our trip homeward that is still running through my mind.
We listened intently to the marine weather/water forecast the evening prior to departure. Various reports mentioned strong winds and waves a bit higher than we normally would run in, but our small band of boaters determined it was still a go. We left the safety of the marina around 9am and were soon introduced to the wonderful weather and waves of the mighty Chesapeake. Of course, we were not in any danger…I’m not talking about waves the size of those seen on “Deadliest Catch” …but it did remind me of one of my favorite rides at amusement parks…the log flume. You know when you’re on the log ride and the final plunge sends water up and into your log soaking you until your dripping wet? Well, imagine that about every five minutes for over an hour and you may have an understanding of our boat ride home.
The occasional spray of salty sea water and the stiff wind was welcome and familiar…then it happened, out of nowhere, as if someone had dumped a bucket of cold water over our heads, the first wave of the day landed inside the boat. Oh, we expected rough ridding, wind and waves…what we did not expect was the extreme drenching that would ensue. I’m pretty sure I am not alone in that I was expecting a lot of sea spray and a few bow crashing waves. What we experienced instead was a frequent deluge of water over the bow and into our laps. We had been given a piece of Chesapeake humble pie, as if the weather and water joined together to remind us that when you’re on a boat anything can happen.
This morning, after of sleeping in a bed that seemed possessed by the sea and rocked endlessly, I found myself replaying the scene in my head. As I prayed for friends sending their kids off to a new year of school, some for the first time, and for others who are experiencing difficult things, I realized that sometimes life sends “waves” over our bow.
We expect to experience only a stiff wind or salty sea spray in life and instead find ourselves overtaken by a massive rouge wave. The excitement in a new school year, discouragement or loss, even the unpredictable weather of the changing seasons, are like waves over the bow…striking reminders of how, in life, anything can happen. Time is passing, kids are growing, life happens and we are not in control. We don our life preservers and hold fast to our anchor and brace for the tumultuous journey. The good news is our captain is in control and He is never surprised by any waves which find their way over our bow!