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Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Monday, December 30, 2013

You call me out upon the waters.

Good morning,
I pray the day is finding you well.

You call me out upon the waters.

Growing up in northwest Kansas was a lot of fun. We had T.V.’s but only one station; obviously, this was before the time of satellite T.V., ComCast, Frontier, and all those cable companies. It was before computers, the internets, and WWW./////# and all that stuff.

What we did have was horses, motorcycles, pickup trucks, tractors, and a boat. Actually, I had the horses, a motorcycle it was an orange Yammerhammer 125 Enduro, and a pickup truck, a green and white 1966 Ford F-150. Tim had the tractors, a John Deere 4020, a John Deere 4630, and a 1936 John Deere –G. Tim also had a pick-up truck; it was a GMC with a toolbox bolted onto the bed. The boat also belonged to Tim. It was a Orange Glastron.

Actually, none of us owned any of that stuff, our parents did, but as kids, we thought it was ours as well.

The Great Republican River ran right by our little town, but since it was dammed in the 1930’s it really wasn’t much of a river anymore. The dam created a lake though. It was called Bonnie Lake, for that matter, the dam was called Bonnie Dam. The dam and the lake were actually in Colorado, which sounds as it was far away. In all actuality, Bonnie Dam was a mere 20 miles or so. We lived right on the border of Kansas and Colorado. A note of interest; northeastern Colorado looks an awful lot like northwest Kansas.

One day, Tim, Bob, and I decided to take the boat to Bonnie Dam. Of course, this meant that we had to take the pickup too. We loaded up all our stuff and headed to the lake. Tim was a very accomplished water-skier. He could slalom ski, which always left us impressed. The only time I was on one ski was when the water had just ripped the other one off and I was about to get a face full of lake water or worse.

You call me out upon the waters.

Bob was not much of a water-skier at all. In fact, he had never gotten up on skis before. Today, we decided that Bob would learn how to water-ski.

The lake had little wind waves on it. The wind tends to blow in Kansas, for that matter, the wind tends to blow in eastern Colorado too, not much difference. We experienced boaters called the lake “choppy.”

Bob would get into position, his ski-tips up and facing the boat, yell, “Hit-it” and we would throttle up the boat.

Bob would come most of the way out of the water, bent at the waist with his nose almost touching his toes, arms stretched out straight. Just when we thought he would get up on top of the water and ski he would start to wobble; the wobble becoming more pronounced until he would fall back into the water. He kept a death grip on the towline and we would always have to yell, “Let go.” I was afraid we were going to drown Bob.

The water was “choppy. Bob’s line of sight reduced to a few feet when he bobbed (no pun intended) in the water.
You call me out upon the waters.

A funny phenomenon occurred that day.

Bonnie Dam had many critters that called the lake home. There were deer, coyotes, rabbits, snakes, all sorts of land creatures. Bob was not concerned with land creatures at that moment he was in the water. Bonnie Dam had trout, bass, bluegills carp, and catfish. We had grown up with horror stories of giant catfish that would grab people and eat them. I do not think any of these stories are true, but back when I was a kid we thought about catfish a lot when we were in the lake.

The funny phenomenon was that as the water temperature heated up in the lake it became hypoxic. Hypoxia is when the oxygen levels in the water become low. In itself, hypoxia is not funny, what was funny was that carp, a family of fish that tend to grow large in lakes. Come to the surface and gulp air when the oxygenation of the water falls below certain levels.

The water was “choppy.”

The carp were coming to the surface.

Bob was bobbing.

We saw the carp coming.

We kept asking Bob if he was ready to try again.

Bob kept saying, “Not yet.”

Then it happened.

You call me out upon the waters.

A wave came and went, and right behind the wave was a great big “Killer” carp.

Bob started beating the carp with one hand and yelling, “Hit-it, Hit-it.”

Bob came right up out of the water.

He was skiing.

It was the most amazing thing I ever saw.

A one handed start.

A start with Bob still looking behind him to see if any”Killer Carp” were still chasing him.

You call me out upon the waters.

When I think about growing up in Kansas, I cannot help but see God in the middle of those years.

I also think about when God calls us out upon the waters, He takes us from a place that we perceive ourselves to be safe, to a place of unknown, to a place that takes us out of our comfort zone. It is only then that we have the opportunity to see what we can really do.

Father, continue to call me out upon the waters. Continue to stretch and remake me as I do my best to grow in your image. Forgive my failings as I forgive others who have failed me. Lead me father. Lead me out upon the waters.


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