Monday, August 23, 2010

A New Hobby - Once Per Month

Well, One-of-a-Kind and I have this (verbal, non-binding ~ according to him) agreement that we will try to pick up a new habit/hobby once per month and hope to master it.  Well, we did step out of our comfort zone and try something new this weekend, but I would say we are far from masters.  Our family trekked about an hour away from home to Adams, Tn. to go canoeing on the Red River.

We invited three other families to join us.  We all packed lunches.  We rode an awesome, old school bus up to the drop off point together.  We all got to pet a goat and several sweet dogs.  We put on our life vests and floated on a class I & II river.  We saw a family of turtles and made up stories about this little clan.  We ate lunch in the mud on a sandbar.  We rowed until our arms trembled.  We tinkled in the woods.  We saw people fishing in kayaks.  We enjoyed cold, refreshing drinks while taking in all that nature has to offer.  We had a blast! 

But, we are far from being masters of this new hobby.  But, does that matter?  Should we beat ourselves up for it?  No, I'm pretty sure we shouldn't.  We had a great time as a family and with friends.  Today, that is all that is going to matter to me in regards to our canoe trip.  

You see, I had an AHA! moment when I went to visit the same church for the second week in a row this weekend.  The Committee went out to a fundraising benefit Saturday night, so I loaded up the boys' bus and headed to church.  It was some awesome music once again.  The minister talked all about how religion can bring out the judgemental nature in the believers.  Then, Pastor David went on to say that it's not the religion that we should "get", it's the relationships we should "forge" while walking in the path of Jesus.  Jesus was all about the relationships he made not the religion he could have forced. 

AHA!  This is what I believe life is all we connect!  How do I greet people each day?  Do I lend a helping hand to build relationships?  Do I reach out with a kind word for those that are in need?  Do I only help those just like me or do I give to the needy?  These are the relationships that I need to fertilize.  I think  of... Romans 12: 9-10  "Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." 

So, as I'm canoeing yesterday with my family, I realize that I am enriching the relationships that matter most to me!  In the middle of a 50 ft. ravine, with rock walls on either side of you, you can't help but feel the sense of serenity and peacefulness.  God seemed all about us in the beauty of the natural habitat we were floating through.  There wasn't a chance for my children to wander off to watch TV or play the computer.  We all were forced to enjoy one another.  Every couple of miles, we would stop as a group and all get out to float in the swiftly moving water.  The kids loved it as much as the adults.  It was harder getting the dads out of the water than some of the children.  Many times, I heard, "I'll definitely do this again." from one adult or another.  

For me and One-of-a-Kind, there was just something about trying something new.  My oldest son and I went into the adventure with minimal expectations.  He was just looking forward to floating in the water; I couldn't wait to sit on the sandbar for lunch and enjoy my ripe strawberries I had packed for lunch.  I wouldn't dare say that we are by any means masters of the canoe, but we were definitely masters of enhancing our relationships with God, family and friends.  To me, I call that a successful day! 

My advice for you:  get out and try something new this weekend.  Make it easy and peaceful.  Don't expect too much.  Just take it as it comes.  Invite friends or family to join you.  Find God in the moments that you can .  Bask in the day and build those critical relationships with those that have been placed in your path of life.  Enjoy!!

1 comment:

Traci said...

What fun! Wish we lived closer and could have gone with you all!