“Training Day” on the WATER Continues
I stood lakeside on the dock. My life jacket on, awaiting instruction. I remember looking down at the dock when “it” passed through my internal field of vision:
Someone fell into water.
I didn’t think much about it; except, I really HOPED something like that wouldn’t happen to me!!
The day before had been experience enough. I’d managed to successfully tip a canoe in the water and “hurl” myself back in. I’d also managed to learn that God doesn’t want me to make my fears BIGGER than HE is. Though I learned that lesson, it’s going to take some time for the concept to “sink in.”
I know YOU and I both have fears. Fears that [are] unfounded; whether rational or not.
My instructor Mike had told me (after the incident, during dinner) that what happened had effectively put my body in a state of shock. More to the point, I was experiencing a mild form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
I’m embarrassed for even admitting that. But in hindsight, I get it. The mind is a powerful tool. But our ability to trust GOD as well as use the tools HE has given us can make the power work either IN OUR FAVOR or against us.
When it was happening the day before, I didn’t want to believe I might be experiencing “shock.” Not that I would have even recognized what it looked like. I was fine, alive, breathing and “normal.” At least, that’s what I thought. But normal doesn’t quite cut it when I recall how and what went on. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my last post, “Canoe Part 2: With God in the Muck”
I tell the full story of a silly fear that turned into a real life lesson.
The day before I’d passed two of the weekend’s three objectives:
- Tipping a boat
- recovering MYSELF out of the water and
- helping to rescue another person out of the water.
This day, we needed to be able to take a canoe, tip it, “sink” it, empty it, recover it out of the water and get it ready for re-entry.
Yeah – REAL- Simple.
Mike took us through the motions of what to do, how it looked and tons of encouragement. As a side note, the canoes aren’t all THAT heavy by themselves (empty of water). But they are a bit awkward and bulky. Not complaining, just sayin’.
I was still really excited for the challenge, I just decided I didn’t want to go first. You could say my nerves were still rattled and my confidence shaken.
My teammate jumped in the water and I helped her steady and sink the boat she needed to recover.
Sinking is easy. Trying to “right” the boat: turn and twist it to empty it and leverage it? Not easy, but not impossible.
(Here’s some advice. Upper body strength and arm muscles are a PLUS. If you already aren’t working out with weights – now might be a good time.)
The first time, we got no where and had to start all over. (And I thought Day One would be our biggest challenge…)
Melissa started over and I was ready to help her through the motions.
The “rescue” canoe was turned, emptied and flipped…I went to “grab” the edge of the canoe out of the water and help pull it (leverage it) over the one I was still sitting in.
I forgot to stay centered in the canoe….and low. I partially stood up and attempted to lean over and grab the edge of the canoe.
As soon as I touched the canoe and began pulling it up….
Everything. Went. Wrong….
The canoe I was in responded to the uneven pressure of my body weight. My upper body swayed the boat and my body swayed against it and OUT from UNDER me.
I literally reached out to grab the water as I hit the surface (no joke) and I yelled “NO!” simultaneously. Thankfully the water was still warm.
I rose to the surface gagging for air. And once I spit out all the lake water, I started laughing (I think).
As luck would have it, I was semi centrally located in the lake. But the wind had easily carried the boat we were to rescue toward a different area of “muck” that someone else had to retrieve. Now, we had two people in the water and two empty boats. It made for an additional challenge to finish our training. It was hard work. It was also exhilarating, which probably sounds crazy.
I’m not sure when I’ve ever had more fun. I was working with 5 of the best people I’ve ever met. The level of teamwork that weekend was extraordinary.
I’d spent more than a year scared of taking this class head-on. Who knew that I’d create so many awesome memories and learn as much as I did?
The strangest thing happened though as we closed out the day. I was back in the canoe and aiming for shore. But God had one more surprise up HIS “sleeve.”
He provided a defining moment, quite unceremoniously (I might add) that still JuST BLOWS my mind.
Utterly. Completely. Period.
I saw the image cross through my internal vision again of a
person falling in the water out of a canoe.
He showed me the replay: Of ME falling in the lake.
He’d given me a prophetic vision of myself.
I hadn’t recognize it at first. But it’s funny how HE works. I already knew the water was warm. I’d already been “tested” in the muck. The only thing I hadn’t done yet was tip my canoe without even trying. It wasn’t a class requirement but HE just wanted to have a little fun with me: In this case, “His WILL be done.”
As I continue blogging, reading scripture and praying; GOD continues to feed my soul with bits and pieces of HIS glory. As I indulge HIS calls to listen and hear, to open my eyes and watch HE simultaneously feeds my internal fire for wisdom, truth and clarity. Rather than running from HIM and fearing HIS power I’m giving in and allowing HIM to shape and mold me.
Suffice it to say, this prophetic incident was no accident. A “few moons” ago I started praying for God to give me “visions.”
I mean the bible talks about HIS people having blessings of visions and dreams poured out on them as we approach the Day of the Lord’s return. (Acts 2:17)
I’ve heard others talk of prophetic stuff, but I really don’t want to be a prophet. I don’t think have the “chops” for it. That also doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind seeing visions or dreams or have a sense of what they’re like.
And then to have it happen —-
Granted, it was totally embarrassing.
But HE turned embarrassment into something absolutely beautiful:
I could laugh at myself.
I was laughing with God.
I learned GOD has a great sense of humor…it made me LOVE HIM even more.
He wanted to give me a simple introduction to the prophetic. But something that wouldn’t overwhelm me. Something that I wouldn’t understand or identify at first but would make perfect sense in the hours afterward.
Looking back it’s actually very cool. To see what HE sees through HIS eyes. He showed me what I look like and HOW much HE loves me. He showed me I don’t need to be confused (even if I feel it most of the time).
He also showed me the dynamics of a prophetic vision:
- It’s intentional.
- It has merit.
- It has a message.
It’s also usually personal either about you or for your benefit or knowledge.
And finally to understand that a prophetic vision is distinctly different from a dream.
Prophetic will happen, it will come to pass.
A dream is something that could be prophetic but may not be.
But only through discernment can we understand the difference.
And if it’s from GOD…He will speak to us and make the message CLEAR.