Monday, June 17, 2013

Trek Prep Devotional - Steve & Teri Booth

I was a newly minted 12-year-old Boy Scout and was on my first canoe trip on the American River.  I loved playing in the water, but was not a strong swimmer.  I was paired up with one of the oldest scouts in the troop for my first canoe trip.  As we moved down the river I started to notice the rocks and shoals just under the surface rushing along below me I started to become more and more concerned that the canoe would strike one, develop a leak and that I would be thrown into the water and need to swim to save myself.  As a 12-year-old this was one of my first looks at mortality.  Near the middle of the day, we came to a large rapid that had claimed the life of a canoer earlier in the month.  I was petrified to go near it.  We were instructed to take the canoes out and portage around the rapid.  As we approached, my fear grew and I began to panic.  I told the older scout that I thought we should get out of the water, but he reassured me that we were ok.  As we got closer, the water came up shallow and I saw my opportunity and actually stepped out of the canoe.  The older scout wisely shouted at me, "What are you doing? I can't navigate this alone.  I need you in the front to help us get through!"  He could have managed by himself, and he could have really teased me about my fear in front of the other boys in the troop, but did neither.  

I got back in the canoe and we safely navigated the portage and the rest of the trip.  My confidence grew and my fears left me by the end of the trip.  I even jumped in once to swim next to the canoe in a calm stretch of the river.  I will never forget the patient mentoring of that older scout, and how he helped me conquer my fear of deep swift moving water.  We have that opportunity to patiently mentor by the spirit the youth that come to trek, and to help them conquer fears and doubts about their lives.  If we can see past the logistical challenges of trek and observe our youth, the spirit will whisper things we can say and do to help them.



I grew up with phrases that my dad would say over and over.  One of them was, "Can't never did Jack Diddly".  We have turned our family home evenings into three word phrases.  "Don't do drugs", "Credit is evil", "Read the Scriptures".  Last week and for the next few weeks it will be "Keep on Going. . ."


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