Before we began, the instructor gave me several tips. “Relax. Keep your arms straight and your toes pointing up. Bend your knees. Don’t pull the rope toward you.”
The first thing I did was pull on the rope, of course, and I instantly fell flat on my face in the water.
I kept trying, though, and on my third attempt I made it to the other side of the small lake and back. I felt a rush of adrenalin, and couldn’t wait to do it again.
As my friend, also a beginner, prepared to take her turn, she asked me how I had managed to catch on so quickly. I thought about that for a moment and realized it was because of the instructor’s coaching.
Besides the advice he gave me before my first attempt, he continued to instruct me throughout my ride. When I struggled to keep my balance, for example, he would yell from the boat, “Hold that position!” or, “Keep your arms straight!” or, “Don’t pull the rope!” At other times he would shout, “Center your weight!” or, “Now try standing up!” When I followed his instruction, the rope didn’t seem to pull so drastically at my muscles and joints, but rather helped me to keep my balance.
Through the Bible, God has given us instructions to guide us and correct us when we’re about to fall.1 And He didn’t stop there. His voice is always there to guide us, just like the instructor who continued to tell me what to do after we had pulled away from the dock.
Whether or not we apply these instructions as we live our day-to-day lives is entirely up to us, however. If we don’t, we will most likely fall flat on our faces in the murky water of failure and mistakes, disappointment and heartache. But if we do apply them, we are in for a safe, successful, exhilarating ride—the ride of our lives!
1. See 2 Timothy 3:16.