In over your head

Endicott Arm, Southeast Alaska

Has living in the 2020s got you feeling like you are in over your head?

The storms of the pandemic, economic uncertainty, climate change, and political extremism are whipping up all of the waters around us. Some of you may be worried that those waves may capsize you. I took this picture kayaking in Southeast Alaska a long time ago. I never thought about its metaphorical value at the time.

Just like then, when life threatens to capsize you, one must KEEP PADDLING! Praying might not hurt either, but the situation DEFINITELY requires action on your part. Keep breathing, assess the situation around you and keep that paddle moving so you can safely get to shore.

When paddling, it is safest to paddle straight into the wind to keep from getting capsized. Even if the closest shoreline is to your left or right, it pays to paddle mostly into the wind and slowly crab the boat sideways toward the shore. That way you will see the waves coming at you and will not be blindsided by a sneaker wave. It may seem like it will take longer to get to safety that way, but it is the safest method in the long run. Similarly in life, it is best practice to understand and anticipate those forces that are working against you.

At some point, if you don’t succumb to your fears, you will finally get to the safety of the shoreline. The storm that you are experiencing in life will eventually blow over; hopefully it will not be measured in geologic time. You will come out of it on the other end with renewed confidence. You might even feel like you can walk on water, like I did in the picture below. But beware, our feet leak badly. So don’t attempt to do it, even if you feel like you could.

seemingly walking on water: Icy Bay, Alaska

Stay strong, stay focused, keep paddling….and be humble!


9 thoughts on “In over your head

  1. I really lik this post, Mick. I was reminded of my experience at summer camp in my youth. On MUCH calmer waters, when swimmers panicked in deep (lake) water, we were told to turn over to rest by floating on top of the water. Many years later I came to the realization this is a tool for when we may feel like we’re just treading water, not going anywhere, barely keeping our heads above water with all that is going on in our lives. When we relax by floating on our backs, we are looking up to God. He wants us to turn to Him when we are overwhelmed with everyday life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the analogies!
    Keep on paddling into the wind and waves but just keep on. My total philosophy quoted in an elegant way.


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