Saturday, April 18, 2015

Row Your Boat - by Heidi McLaughlin

“I’m going to give you some wisdom that you might find simple and a little strange”, I said to the harried woman sitting across from me. "But please listen as I explain."  Her jaw dropped and her forehead produced a few extra wrinkles as I started to sing a simple nursery rhyme.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

I probably didn’t seem smarter than a third grader, but I quickly went on to explain my version of this uncomplicated, picturesque piece of advice. I felt compelled to help her because I knew what it was like to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. I went on to explain how many of us feel a delusional sense of responsibility for things that don’t belong in our boat. “And further”, I said, “we end up listening to all the things we ‘should’ do because we are comparing ourselves to T.V. commercials, Facebook bragging and unrealistic expectations.”
To feel fulfilled and joyful we must learn to row our boat gently down the stream. This means learning to quit paddling and working so hard work and go with the flow of life which is generated through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The bible tells us that: “In Him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3 NLT), and that we “…have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT).  God has given you and me everything we need to flow merrily down the stream. But, we must decide to dock our boat, stop and take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit who will help us make the next move.

I had to eat my own words the last two years as I found myself exhausted, frustrated and depleted.  When I clearly felt the Holy Spirit telling me it was time to retire and trust Him for my future, there were many heart pounding moments wondering what my new stream would look like. I’m in my new boat now, but in order to get settled I had to unload many oversized toxic boxes and debris that should have been chucked years ago.  These days I feel so free and merry that I can hardly contain my joy.

Am I certain as to what my future looks like? No, but as I told the woman sitting in front of me, “God is smarter than you and me.  We need to take deliberate steps to find a place of solitude where we can listen to the nudging of the Holy Spirit to tell us what unnecessary stuff we need to cast out of our boat. God is on our side. No matter how easy or difficult our situations are, God will gently and lovingly guide our boat down the stream of life on the route that He designed for us to take.”

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends. You can reach her at:


Lux G. said...

I don't know what my future holds too. I just know Who's holding my future and that's reason enough to keep rowing my boat. :)

Stay blessed!

David Kitz said...

Well said, Heidi. Too often we rely on our own effort rather than on the Lord.

Peter Black said...

Oh yes, Heidi . . . That's sound wisdom indeed. Thanks.
I haven't thoroughly learned it in practice; however, you bring me back to the principle. It is to be a labourer *with* God rather than just *for* God (as indicated in 1 Cor. 3; Philippians 2:12-13).
I reckon your theme here relates also to Susan's in the previous post, and reflects that aspect. ~~+~~

Tracy Krauss said...

What good advice!

Popular Posts