17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
Last week, our family embarked on our first ever class 1 and 2 white water rafting adventure in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. During the bus ride down to the river, our guides gave us a short (and I do mean SHORT) lesson on paddling in order to navigate safely down the 8 mile stretch of water -and how to avoid going overboard. When we arrived at the waters edge and climbed into the rubber boat, I assumed 1 of the 3 guides would continue with their instruction, instead, they shoved us into the water and we were quickly on our way! Since my husband was the only one out of the six of us who had previously experienced white water rafting, we unanimously elected him captain in order to navigate us down the Lehigh River.
As my fear began to rise, feeling extremely unprepared to venture into uncharted waters, I began paddling like a mad woman- completely ignoring my husband’s directions. As some of our children followed my lead, chaos quickly erupted and we all began struggling against one another- and the rapids. In the midst of pandemonium, however, I heard that still small voice tell me to STOP and obey the voice of my leader….
After I took a deep breath, and began paddling at Doug’s command (and the children followed suit) our boat began floating along, almost effortlessly down the river….and all of us were able to enjoy the ride.
The same struggle to successfully maneuver through the uncharted waters of life often occurs within my marriage and family. I am quick to see the whitewater emerging around the bend and the dangerous rocks that loom beneath the surface of the deep that threaten to overturn us. What I often fail to realize, however, is that my captain (husband) has a different vantage point, and ultimately, he is responsible to God for how he chooses to navigate. My responsibility is simply to trust God and *obey my captains directions as we journey down the river together. As an engaged co-captain, I should be able to relay any potential warnings to my captain, but ultimately, I must learn to let go of my fears and leave the navigating to him. Sure, there will be times when he doesn’t lead wisely, but he’s human- and bound to make a few mistakes. And yes, since we are in the same boat, I may get splashed by the waves, or hit a few boulders, or perhaps even get tossed overboard, but…..if I continue to trust God, and submit my will to His, I will be able to enjoy the ride- despite the raging waters beneath me.
*I would not obey my husband’s directions if he was deliberately engaging in sin- or asking me to do the same.