For my parents, my sister, and I, boating has been part of our lives from the time I was in the seventh grade or so. Mom and Dad bought a wooden daycruiser type of boat. It was half-covered by a hard top. While anchored at the sandbar on the Chain of Lakes in northern Illinois, us girls would spread out our towels and lay out on either the top or the bow.
A big part of our boating experiences involved waterskiing. Dad waterskiied only when a capable guy was driving the boat, but he could do it nonetheless. My mom and sister learned how to ski quite easily. They could drop a ski and go slalom. I was the only one who failed to get up on skis.
The key to waterskiing is to let the boat pull you up. Grab the handle of the ski rope, sit back, keep your skis together, and resist the urge to pull yourself up before the boat does the job. If you pull back on the rope, if you try to take control, you won’t get up on skis. That’s what I did. I tried to help myself, to take control. I didn’t trust the power that could pull me up and allow me to glide.
I suppose I did the same kind of thing with life in general. I didn’t trust anyone or anything but myself. I was in control, I thought. I must control how my life goes.
Boy, was I wrong. I had to allow a greater power to pull me up, guide me along its path, keep me standing as I rode the wake, and, if I fell, it would pick me up again. Unfailingly. I guess you know that I’m referring to God.
I never did learn to water-ski. Well, I did do it once, but as I glided over the water, I had a hard time keeping my feet together. I was anxious about the fall as I whipped around on the lake; rightfully so, because I got a wedgie when I fell. I decided I didn’t like it.
Fortunately, my failure at waterskiing does not represent my life in general.
Waterskiing does, however, illustrate that we cannot do everything on our own and that we must allow the higher power of God to pull us up.