Yesterday, I wrote about my experience of dumping my kayak and losing my phone in the depths of a hole in the Eleven Point River in southern Missouri.
Someone asked me how I found my way without my GPS and my phone. Well, that’s a good question.
The short answer is: I was always going to find my way with or without a phone.
See, the river only goes downstream and no matter where you get out for the night, home is always downstream.
I just stopped knowing where I was when the phone went in the drink.
I had a lot in that phone pertaining to the trip. My GPS, my map, my waypoints, my clock and all sorts of other things that I used to make my plans about where we had to be when.
All I knew about where we were spending the night is that it was between zero and four miles downstream from where I lost the plan and from there it was ten more miles to the take-out.
So, I was pretty much forced to try to stop thinking about how much it was going to cost to replace my phone and glasses and just head downstream until I found some sort of river camp with the name Whitten.
I remember seeing a sign ahead (there were very few markers of any kind along the river) thinking, “Here it is!”
Then I saw, “There it wasn’t.”
I was so disappointed because it was at a point that I was hoping not to have to set up camp in the dark.
But, no matter what, that river was going to take me to camp, even though my plan had fallen out of the boat.
So, I tried to look at where I was, smile at the beauty that surrounded me, hear the birds and animals and the gurgling of the river as it roared and faded to silence over and over again around every bend and drop.
My plan changed. My plan kind of went out the window.
But, my destination didn’t change and the only way I wouldn’t have made it to camp was to quit.
Even if I didn’t paddle, I’d have eventually managed to float right to where I needed to go. Better late than never.
I can’t tell you how many times my life has tipped me over and soaked my plan in its depths.
I’ve been discouraged and lost.
But just like that river has been flowing by that camp site for centuries, God’s plan for my life has been flowing through all the places he wants me to be.
Losing sight of my plans never once changed God’s plan.
1 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Just like when I was on the river, my plans and being able to see where I was right at any moment wasn’t as important as staying focused on where I was going.
When I am discouraged and lost in this life, I need to press on toward the unseen. God’s hand will get me there even when I have no clue how far I have yet to go.
God’s plan is kind of like the river I guess. Going downstream, all these different lives and plans all converge into something much bigger. Going upstream is hard and wears me out and there are so many different ways to go but they all eventually end.
Whatever happens on this journey, this adventure called life, I need to remind myself that I will arrive at my destination no matter what. So, I might as well take the time to fish a little along the way.