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Category: Creeks



White water rapids are created when water in a river flows over an obstruction under the surface of the water. I’m not an expert hydrology, but I understand the dynamics of what takes place in a river when water is forced to flow over a rock or something else… I understand the basic premise of this obstruction underwater changes nature, course, speed, direction and behavior of the water. The more water, the bigger the obstructions, the faster the water flows and the more extreme the rapids are.

In September, I had an opportunity to take two young men from the Independent Living Program at Grace Landing on a camping trip as a culmination of a mentoring program we did with them this spring/summer. The second activity of this trip was a white water rafting trip. On this rafting experience we saw first hand how a rock, or other obstruction, underneath the surface of the water impacts and changes the course of the river. The river must bend its will and purpose to the rocks underneath it. The water will flow over the rocks, altering and impacting the rocks as well… but the rocks will tell the river where and how to flow.
No matter how much water flows over it, around it, under it or how much pressure is put on the rock by the water… it will always be a rock. Its shape may change, how the rock looks might change. The rock will be shaped by the water, but it will not be defined by the water. It is a rock, because it is inherently a rock and not because of the water it interacts with.

After we observed this, and we sat around the campfire later that evening we discussed how we are like the rocks under the surface of the water. Life will come over us and even overwhelm us at times, and we will undoubtedly be shaped by the pressures of life. We are like the rock lurking under the surface of the water in a river.

As life flows over us, we will be shaped by life… by the circumstances, stress, pressure, situations happening to us. But we are not defined by them. Who we are at our core is not affected or changed by life. At our core, we are children of an Almighty God. We are his precious children, whom he loves enough to die for our sins. That will never change no matter what experience, challenge, hardship or difficulty we face in this life. We will certainly be shaped by life, but not defined by it.

A key to surviving life, or making it through ‘successfully’, is to be adaptable… fluid… willing to change. Able to make adjustments. On a personal note, I do NOT change well or easily. I hate change. The only thing I hate more than change is surprise change. I need to know what is what. Adaptability is essential in this life. The landscape of our lives is constantly changing and shifting as various aspects or pieces of our lives change. Jobs, relationships, living arrangements, transportation situations, school… most things in our lives are in a constant state of flux. Being adaptable and able to meet the new challenges, to rise to the occasion are critical.

The rock under the water doesn’t change who he is when more water comes down the river bad. He allows his shape to be molded to meet the water. But, he remains a rock. When we face a difficult scenario in life, we must adapt or be shaped by it and meet its demands… but we can not sacrifice who we are at our core.


Psalm 34:8 –

O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

I always like the reference to God as a place of refuge. The images it brings to my mind are like a paradise beach by a waterfall and pool of water in the mountains. Almost reminds me of the falls on the Panther Creek trail in north Georgia. God gives us a place to rest, a place to relax, a place to be revived. Like the Panther Creek trail, you have worked hard to make it though the trail and now it is time to relax and eat you lunch, hide in the shade and get your energy back.

God restores us and rejuvenates us. I like to rest in the refuge of God… will you rest with me?

The Woods were calling my name…

I will remember our first house in Athens growing up forever. It was a duplex and the dude that owned had finished the basement so it was the only duplex in the neighborhood that was two storey. It had a spiral staircase leading downstairs and a small deck off the kitchen up stairs. It was set on a hill so the back of the house and the downstairs was downhill from the front. Our neoghbor was a crazy cat-lady named Miss June who was a smoker and a teacher.

Behind the house was some woods with a creek in them. The woods ran parallel to the back of the house with the creek running the same direction. Going out the front door of the house and turning left took you to the end of the cul de sac. If you passed the house there, you go through a small patch of woods that shielded the homes from the railroad track. This track ran perpendicular to the creek. It had a phenomenal tressel to bridge the creek (it wasn’t anything special to most, but to a 9 year old boy it was fantastic).

Abe and I use to love to enter the woods behind the house, bushwhack to the creek and then make our way to the train track via the creekbed. There was sandbars, logs, barbed wire fence and of course the creek. We could seem to make it to the train track without gettig wet and muddy. This of course, was part of the adventure. We always made it, but we were always wet and muddy. This was not a problem for Abe and I.

What was the problem was that mom was very specific about us not being allowed in the woods. There was nothig inherently wrong with the woods, save that we nearly ruined whatever we were wearing when we entered the woods. This is why mom forbid us in the woods. At the time it was beyond my ability to comprehend why she would not want us in the woods, even if it meant ruining clothes…

We went down to Ron & Deb’s for new years. Deb got the boys cowboy boots. They have been wearing them nonstop. They were trying to wear them to do flooring work at Ron & Deb’s. They also were crawling around on the floor scraping the toes of their boots up. They couldn’t understand why I didn’t want then to crawl around and scrape up their boots.

I then understood the ban on the woods when I was 9.

— Eli

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