Tubing Through Life

Every been tubing? It was a favorite summer activity as a teen. We’d drive to the middle of nowhere, pay our fee and climb on an old school bus painted hunter green. With a strong enough imagination, you could pretend you were traveling with the Partridge Family. The bus would transport us up a winding road, hugging close to the edge of the river. In tow was a trailer filled with big black inner tubes.

When we arrived to our destination, the bus quickly emptied and its passengers made our way to the river bank. At the same time, the bus driver made his way to the trailer and with the pull of the end of a single rope, giant inner tubes donut rolled down the incline and landed in the water.

In a blink, Partridge Family bus guests forgot they were on tour and dove into the water to catch an inner tube before it floated off.

Once captured, the next challenge was mounting the black rubber vessel. Some would fling it over their heads and allow it to settle at their waist. The next challenge was figuring out how to get their legs up through hole.

Other’s would do the daring backwards leap in hopes their butts would land dead center. Seventy-five percent of the time both human and tube would capsize, throwing the human in the water and the tube in the air.

The preferred method was to belly flop on top of the tube and once balanced, roll over allowing gravity to pull our butts through the hole. Once securely settled in, our feet were free to kick the air, arms were wrapped around the warm rubber tire, head leaned back resting on tube, allowing the current to take us down the river.

No matter how one mounted the tube, once safely on board the river did the rest of the work. For the next few hours, the river was in control and there was no doubt it would take us to the where we needed to go.

In the past year I’ve experienced moments in life that felt like I was still tubing. Moments where things fell into place, strangers I needed to meet crossed my path, opportunities bumped into me and all the while I was just floating along on my inner tube trusting the river. It felt easy. It felt amazing. It felt right.

Those moments have turned into a preferred way of life. A life filled with anticipation to see who I’ll bump into, or what adventure will find me around the next bend. But nothing really needs to happen because floating peacefully down stream, safely tucked away in my big black warm inner tube, is pleasure enough.

There are a few secrets to tubing through life: the first is learning to trust the River. Call it whatever you’d like, Universe, Source, Light, my preference is God; you’ll never begin floating until you begin trusting that the River will take you to where you need to be.

The second is to stay in your own tube and don’t invite anyone to ride along – you’ll likely capsize. The third is to let go of anything that would keep you anchored, bound, tied or tethered, you can’t hold on and move at the same time.

Jumping into the river can be scary. Mounting your tube can be challenging. But once you’ve figured it out, floating down the River is a blast and you’ll never want to live any other way.

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Trust, Lean & Acknowledge

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

This was one of my favorite Proverbs as a kid. This one and the one that said everyone would rise up and call me blessed – that sounded awesome! The older I get the deeper understanding I have for this Proverb.

Trust – we live in a world that doesn’t know how to trust. Our current society is based on just the opposite, it is filled with fear. Take one day and listen to the amount of fear in daily conversation. I’m afraid…don’t do that it will cause…can’t eat that it might be…I would never try that…You can’t do that, someone will…. We have successfully created a fear culture. Trust requires one not to fear but to believe that someone or something has our best in mind.

Lean not on your own understanding – Oy, that’s not even possible. That’s what therapy and analysis is for. We must understand everything! After all if we don’t understand it we are afraid that we’ll be taken advantage of. 

In all your ways acknowledge Him – nope that doesn’t work either. We are so self-centered and self-absorbed we can’t possibly acknowledge someone else, even if we’re talking about God. One must ask what’s in it for me by acknowledging Him?

The ability to trust, not understand and acknowledge changes greatly from the time we are 8 to 28 to 58 to 88. It’s not natural, it’s out of the ordinary. It takes more effort the older we get. It takes effort, it takes faith, it requires an understanding of God’s love for us.

Find someone who lives by this Proverb and you’ll find contentment, peace, joy and optimism. You’ll find someone you want to hang out with. You may even rise up and call them blessed!