It's Like A Canoe

It’s like a canoe,   Marriage that is, All I learned about Marriage I learned in a Canoe

“Marriage is like a Canoe”,  Communication in marriage and canoeing is paramount.  Knowing your cross bow rudder from your bow sweep, your J stroke and a pull too, will keep your life from hitting the rocks. It is such a beautiful thing to watch when great paddlers pull up to the dock, with short calls, a sweep of the stern slides in line with the bow, and another call and both ends pull effortlessly together in to the dock with perfect synchronization. I’ve seen canoes broach and roll when the sweep was on the opposite side because they were both trying to over componsate for the other end to avoid a major issue or rock.  I have seen tempers flare and paddles get broken because of an assumed un-said needed action that was requested, — with silence (read my mind!).  And I myself have had to become cold, wet and vulnerable, running out into the lake to chase a canoe that I’d thought the other’s job to tied up,  as it drifted away in the wind!

But what exhilaration it is when we talk through the issues, with a sweep and a draw we navigate through the furiousness of the river’s life and glide into a protected eddy. Sitting there together in the calm, surrounded by the maelstrom of waves and debris flying by, we laugh together.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,  but one who has insight draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5

“Marriage is like a Canoe”,  youhave to learn to be sensitive to each other’s needs, cares, and fears.

On our honeymoon we were paddling down a shallow section of the stream. It was a nice day and weopted for going barefoot through the sand and smooth rocks rather than drag the canoe out since it was too shallow to paddle with us and our gear all in the canoe same time.  The rippling water felt so good running across our toes and ankles, birds weresinging with the setting sun shining through the forest through the crystalclear water. We had only several more yards of shallows before we’d have to get back in thecanoe; it was a wonderful rest for our shoulders, to stretch our legs and just wade slowly guiding the canoe. Me in the front and my newlywed behind me holding the stern line. I watched small minnow’s  darting among the rocks, and wow, cool there were Cray fish hiding here and there, peeking out just a little to see what the big monsters were doing walking through their domain. It was wonderful to see their little antennas’ poking out inquisitively, then shooting away swimming backward as fast as they could.   Hey I called out, look , its really cool there are Cray fish all over the place, just peeking out!!!

Auuuuuuugggggg, don’t kid me, auuuugee, no it’s not true tell me it’s not true” she called back! “That’s not nice thing to say!!!”

“But they are cute and a wonderfully small part of God’s beauty all aound us, and they won’t hurt you, they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” I answered back….

“Not true, I’m really really afraid of them!!”

I responded by catching one, there were actually hundreds and hundred’s and really easy to catch, and tossed one upstream right at her feet so she could see that they were very afraid of her, She screemed!!. They were all over the place, I started catching them with both hands and tossing them at her feet!! They would land on her toes and flip their little cute tail and zoom off under another rock.

“Don’t Don’t Do that, Auuuuuuuu”, and she burst into crying, and fell down, then scrambled up soaking wet crying and jumped in the canoe which then stuck to the shallows.

Oooops, I was trying to change her, not being sensitive to herfears, trying to mold her into something that she was not ready for. I was so so sorry, (and it is a funny story now), but not at that time, my insensitivity was not the way to help her grow. With passing time I have now learned, that you need to look through anothers eyes, and into their heart, not your own, to see them clearly.

“Though it cost all you have,  get understanding” Proverbs 4:7

Most importantly, “Marraige is like a canoe”, because there are two together in one life, moving along the river of life, working together is the only way to achieve their joy.

There are three things that a canoe has taught me over the years, over and over again. May they also help you.  It is a wise son that learns from others.

One is that you need to work together. One day we were paddling into a stiff wind, and by bow woman paused, skipping a few strokes to fix her
hat and hair. Immediately we were stopped, the wind was driving to strong for one to overcome it with the entire weight of life that we carried to survive in this wilderness. Soon we started to slowly movebackwards, then sideways, Auuuggg I yelled, we can’t stop here. Oh oops, she called and we pulled again together into the lee of the peninsula by the shore. Here we could again chat and snack, in the calm flat waters out of the wind sheltered by the point of land in front of us. Together we gathered our strength and again paddled hard for the end of the point. BLAM the wind hit us howling around the end of the point. The full furry of the storm driving down the miles long center of the lake. keeping the canoe straight and on course into the wind we creeeped gaining the end, then the point, then leaving the point and plowing into the next bay and the shelter of another peninsula!!!! Aha we have it!!, work in perfect unison, till we can rest and drift… This is also a lot like life, like marriage, we need to work together when the times gethard, knowing that soon we will take the time to rest up.

“How much better to get wisdom than gold,  to get insight rather than silver! ” Proverbs 16:16

My final blessings on you two forever in your new marriage,   and I impart to you the little wisdom that I have, 

            “Marraige is like a Canoe”


** Story Telling August 27, 2011 at Wedding of Heather & Reed Johnson **