Undisturbed amid the churn

A few years ago I was canoeing some rapids with a friend who is a champion kayaker. I had no experience with these water sports and was trusting my friend completely, paddling hard the way he told me to, as the canoe was tossed about. It was tempting to just let the canoe be carried along. But he insisted that we keep on paddling, otherwise the river would be in charge, and we would not be navigating the canoe.

This river was as familiar to him as the mountain roads he drove every day. He could anticipate a change in the current or hidden shallows below the surface by the light reflected on the water or the way the waves were breaking. My friend was seeing through a different lens than I was, and then translating his understanding into guidance that I could follow, which enabled us to calmly and successfully make it through.

This has been a useful lesson for everyday life, too. Sometimes when we look at the world around us, we may feel tossed about by the turbulence of war, political division, or dysfunction in our bodies or homes. How can we find a deep and settled sense of peace in the midst of this?

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