A couple summers ago my sister and I went to Newport, Rhode Island. We don’t live too far from there and its absolutely beautiful. A place where everyone from out of state tries to come visit but for our family, it was a place where we visited on a nice weekend to walk around where every year my dad and mom would take us to the biggest buffet I had ever seen. My sister and I were there one year and down one of the old cobble stone streets were canoe rentals. If anyone knows me, I am not really into risking my life in anyway shape or form and canoe rides, even though seem pretty harmless, I am afraid of deep water, can’t swim well, doggy paddle at best. So my sister looked at me with excitement and said, “Let’s do this” and I for whatever the reason…agreed.
We stepped into our individual canoes and my sister has this ability to just know how to do things and canoeing was just added to the list. I don’t have this ability. She easily after a couple of paddles, paddled herself out of the choppy waters into the serene water where one could just bask in the sun and canoe her way down the lazy river. Me on the other…. almost lost my life.
You see, I didn’t know how to paddle. I kept going around in circles, drifting. I kept going left and then to the right, drifting. Drifting no-where fast! The waters were choppy. As I was yelling at my sister for directions I couldn’t hear her because the million-dollar yacht was heading my way blowing its horn warning me to move!!! I panicked and just continued to go around in little circles, but only faster (think pin wheel. fast like that.) I just had the water scene in Indiana Jones where the little boat is chopped up into little pieces by the yachts propeller, which is what I thought was going to happen to me (bit of an exaggeration but still, scary!), when the guy that was renting the canoes dragged my boat back to shore because to be honest, I was maybe 20 feet away from the shore!
Even though this story happened to me a couple years ago, I thought about it this weekend and how I drifted away in that canoe that day. Jesus says: Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
I accepted the Lord as my savior around this time last year and then baptized August 14th, 2010. As I take this journey I know it’s crucial to remain in Him, constant praying, fellowshipping, reading, confessing my sin, service to others. I need to remain in Him in order to have the love, joy, peace, self-control, etc, that Jesus talks about in the Bible. He is the vine and I am the branch.
I am sure if I kept persisting in that canoe, kept practicing, it would have gotten easier over time, I would have figured out how to paddle those rough waters, paddle straight but instead, I quit. It makes me think about my faith. I don’t want to drift away from Jesus…ever. He alone is keeping me afloat. This is a lifetime commitment and the waters will get choppy, the propellers will try to crush my sprit, storms will come and there might be times where I will want to jump ship but I know if I remain in the vine, I will be safe, anchored in Him. My hope is in Him. My joy…. in Him. I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:8.
Are you drifting? Keep persisting. Keep practicing the things of God, it has to get easier! If you are not as close to God as you used to be, who moved? ~Author Unknown