Wednesday, June 13, 2007

High Tide, Late Night Paddling, and Observations on Motivation

Monday Jeff asked if I've been out on my kayak recently. "No, not since last year," was my reply. I have not been too keen on it recently simply because life has been too difficult, and discouragement has been too frequent. Between financial squeeze, and Elijah's illness and his need for a transplant, I've had enough just get up and take care of daily business. So the mention of kayaking was not particularly helpful, until 10pm last night.

We were driving home from Jeff and Diane's house, and as we passed down Bridge Street there was water flooding across the road. It was flooded as though it had just rained buckets. That section of Bridge Street always floods in a heavy rain. Yet there had been no rain. I wondered if perhaps a water main had broken, but I saw no gushing of water anywhere. Then I wondered the inconceivable. Could it be that the high tide had filled the North River Canal, flooded the dog park, and even came up to the road on Bridge Street?

As we came to North Street and had a good view of the North River I asked Bev, "Is the tide excessively high right now." I was watching traffic, and she looked to see that, yes, the tide was high. I glanced over to my left to the dog park to see it flooded.

That was all I needed. I was going kayaking. To pull my kayak in on the North River I need to coordinate my kayaking with the tide. Like those typical New England photos with dingys sitting in the mud, the North River becomes a sludgy mess at low tide, and the high tide fills the basin to a 10 to 12 foot depth. This was an exceptionally high tide, and I was determined to see how high it was by paddling around in it.

I learned something about myself. Okay, it wasn't anything I did not know before, but I did not realize how deep rooted it really was. I am motivated by adventure. Repitition tends to bore me. Surprises are generally good. Spontanaeity is a sign of life for me.

The exceedingly high tide was a unique moment, and one I wanted to be on the water while it happened. So I packed up my boat, my paddle, threw on my board shorts, and went down to the North River. I paddled around for about an hour checking out the shore line, and was happy to be there. What motivated me? Something new, something unique.

I'm not sure how good that is that adventure motivates me highly, but it is.


Anonymous said...

If life isn't an adventure then I wonder if something is wrong. Your adventurous nature is called living or being alive Phil. It's a good thing Bro. :D



Pastor Phil said...

You are always such an encouragement Mike. I think you live in the wrong country. Aren't you supposed to be living in Salem, MA USA? ;-)

Marieke said...

Phil, I agree, it's a good thing! I've been feeling more "alive" lately as we prepare for the next big step in our lives, and God's been doing a lot in me lately at the same time.

Meanwhile, in the realm of work, since my colleague is training to take over my responsibilities, I'm stuck filing. I could not be more over it, but that's where learning discipline balances things out I suppose.

Pastor Phil said...


Bless you in your transitions. I agree that adventuresomeness (?- looks like a cool word to me) is good, but at this point in our wildly turned over lives, I wish simpler things could acheive the same sense of encouragement. Know what I mean?

g13 said...

that's a sermon on baptism just waiting to be preached:)


Pastor Phil said...

Hey G,

Jeepers! You gotta be from Campbellite tradition to come up with that one! ;-)

carl said...

I took a floatie down a flooded canal street once with friends. We were told to get out because there was raw sewage in the flood. Whatever.. it was fun.

Pastor Phil said...

Raw sewage? You did take a floatie.

william (hylander) said...


I'm glad to see you respond to adventure from the mundane. I'm not suggesting that the work you do, or the trials you face, or the normal routines you accomplish are not important, they are, and I think you get that. But, the fact that Jeff inquiring of whether you kayaking lately is no mere coincidence! That is something I have always admired about you Phil, your sensitivity and obedience to the Holy Spirit. Your relationship with Jesus is such an adventure, and the fact that He loves you so much, He does not want you to miss out on such adventures as a result of being trapped by the grind of life!

Phil, it truly sounds as though you had a great time of fellowship with the Lord while adventuring the other night! I believe He sometimes speaks to us in the most unusual places, and I am sure He spoke to you in your kayak! Now I feel a children's church song coming to mind.... "I got a river of live flowin out of me...."

Blessings to you Phil!

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Will,

Gracious words - thanks.

ded said...

According to Larry Crabb, men are motivated primarily by three things.
1. they like doping what they do well; they dislike doing what they do not do well.

2. To protect something fragile they intrinsically sense about themselves.

3. To establish justice; especially if they feel wronged.

Sounds like you do adventure well. Strikes me as a good attribute for someone committed to feeding and tending the souls of others.

ded said...


I must have been half asleep this morning!!