It was a perfect sunny day on the beaches of Mazatlan. My oldest son wanted to go kayaking and my youngest wanted to play golf. Since I love to kayak and my husband loves to golf, the pair-up was obvious. After breakfast, Austin and I headed down the beach to find someone we could rent a kayak from. We meet Omar. Omar said he would pick us up in front of our hotel at 11:45am. 500 pesos or 25 dollars for 2 hours to be paid when we were finished.
11:45am came and past. At 12:30pm Austin and I decided to head back down the beach to find another kayak. The winds had picked up a bit. The thought crossed my mind that the winds may be the reason Omar didn’t show up. But then again, he could have gotten a better offer.
We found a new kayak sales person and negotiated the deal. He brought us life jackets (a good start). Then came the two paddles. One that looked like it had been chewed on by a shark and another that was duck-taped down the middle. To finish it off, the owner of the kayak plugged the hole at the top of the kayak with the wine cork (yes, I said: wine cork) while suggesting we may want to empty the water out of the boat when we got to the island across the bay. At the time of his instruction, I thought he meant, “…empty the water that would splash into the boat from the waves.” NOT “…empty the water that will come into the boat through the holes in the bottom!” (My advice: Always check the bottom of you boat before take-off.)
The owner of the boat helped us into the kayak and pushed us out into the breaking waves. As the second or third wave crested over the kayak hitting my face, Austin said: “Dad would never let you do this!” He was right.
The good news is, I had grown up on my Dad’s sail boat and so had Austin. We knew how to take the waves. It didn’t mean we wouldn’t get wet and it didn’t mean we wouldn’t capsize, but we knew what to do in the event of an emergency.
We paddled as hard as we could, traveling west of the island into the waves until we had to take a hard right to hit the beach. It was hard but exhilarating. I imagined we were white water adventure kayakers. We laughed in the face of danger as our little boat took every beating of the winds and waves.
As we hit the sandy beach of the deserted island, I felt the freedom of living outside the walls of the secure controlled world I had created for myself. Looking out over the sea, holding only half of my duck-taped paddle, I knew I could never go back.
Today, as I reflect on my kayak adventure with Austin I know that a life lived to the fullest will never happen within the safe walls of a bubble or a box. As a Christ-follower, living a life to the fullest means to live outside of worry and anxiety. I will trust the God who is writing the story of my life and the lives of the ones I love. #Iamsetfree