Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sailing {Virtue Aquired Through Suffering}

Dale took us out sailing.

It was a peaceful adventure. Especially since there wasn't much wind.
Towards dusk we lost our wind completely and had to paddle in.
We were discussing and contemplating the verse in Hebrews chapter 5 where 
it talks about the obedience Christ learned through His suffering. (vs 8 & 9)
It's a meaty topic worthy of much discussion.

It seemed like everywhere we looked there was a link to this topic of learning obedience, refining character, and broadening education through the medium of suffering and hardship.

I was reading in the book called Education and I came across a section discussing
how the Children of Israel were sent out to wander in the wilderness
to a place "most favorable" for their refinement and education. 
A desert wasteland in the middle of nowhere hardly seems like the perfect place to live in comfort.
No, this was HARD living BUT these people degraded by slavery and influenced by idol worshipers needed the discipline of the school of hard knocks to be remade into a people of God.

I saw this link on fb to a video posted by an SDA 8th grade teacher who took his students out on
a replica wagon train experience. These students learned things on their trip that they would not have otherwise learned if it not for the very real experience on the trail... It might have been a very exciting and adventurous trip, but it was filled with hard decisions and exhausting work. 

"Life is a pretty tough teacher, isn't it?
She gives you the test first, then you get the lessons.
You'll probably notice though, that most of the learning is in the struggle."

"How are you going to practice endurance if you don't have something to endure?"
Mr. Vixie

Watching Christina and her dad run the half marathon inspired Missy to want to run, too.
Well, at least she likes the glamorous idea of running a race...
That's about it.
I tried to impress upon the fact that they had to prepare and practice and if she were to run she would have to build up endurance. She would have to get strong.
She doesn't' get it, of course. Without experience she won't get it.

I'm actually leading up to a story with these rambling thoughts. I just needed to give you the background of what we've been thinking. It helps to explain why we didn't chose the easier route on our little reality set....

We keep saying we need to take the twins to Africa for the same reason we took our other children.

Dale brought his nice little kayak to the river along with his sailboat...
those three 9 year olds were enthralled. Vanessa and Christian made it look like a piece of cake to paddle and so the children each wanted a turn.

Izzy got in first. Wow. It's not as easy as it looked. She went in circles a few times and headed the bow of the boat towards land. She didn't like that out-of-control feeling at all.

James quickly jumped in as soon as the seat was vacated...
He was in for the shock of his life.
Panic ensued~
Screams erupted~
He very nearly jumped ship~
 I believe the only thing that stopped him from jumping and swimming was his fear of water. 
~ It was COLD water at that. He was standing on the seat screaming his head off for someone to save him. His brain was completely offline. There was nothing anybody could do to calm him and walk him through... He finally wildly paddled around and jumped two feet from shore and let the boat float away.
That's my son, Brave Captain of the Sea.

The kayak was no sooner caught and dragged to the bank when Missy was aboard and paddling out to her fate. Apparently little humans do not learn by watching other people. 
We have to have our OWN panic attack.
The shrieking was insane.
She was actually only 3 feet from shore.
The blood curdling screams were completely irrational. 
We were in a perfectly safe man-made bay. She was sitting dry in a boat.
She was IN no danger whatsoever. The entire drama was a complete fabrication of the mind.
Cognitive distortion are the words we ping-pong around here.
Her fear was real, so we had to take that at face value.

Dale was up in the parking lot preparing his trailer for the sailboat when he heard the unmistakeable fear laced screams. He flew down the hill and straight into the water and he would have dove in and fetched the boat had not everyone on shore hollered, "NO!"
He stood still in total confusion. I said, "Dale, please don't save her. She isn't in any danger. This is actually good. I need her to follow my directions. I need her to listen to me. She can do this."

And so in a pause between blood-curdling, hair-raising shrieks I got her to hear me.
"Missy! I can't help you when you are screaming! Just stop screaming. I will help you!"
She protested in her usual manner but her screeching subsided. 
She argued long and hard, but goodness, there wasn't a thing she could do to change the situation. SHE HAD TO DEPEND ON ME. 
Vanessa suggested in a whisper that Steve needed to get Dale busy on his boat.... and so they left me to work with Missy. James was NOWHERE TO BE SEEN. He was too freaked out to stick around.
You can only imagine how long it took me to get her to cooperate with my directions.
Good thing she knows her right from her left.
"Paddle right, paddle left... paddle left...."
No sooner would she get within feet of the bank when she would completely ignore me and do her own thing... which led, of course, to her spinning circles in the middle of the bay once more, totally screaming and begging and arguing for me to swim out there and get her.

The couple under the lamppost took their kissing to a more romantic destination.
I was actually surprised at how long it took them to leave!

We probably repeated this whole scenario 5 times.
She was as determined to make me come and get her as I was that she would just follow my directions and trust me. We're both hard-headed.

At the last I warned her that she must follow my words explicitly all the way to the shore. She must NOT do anything else. It was the ONLY way she would get out. "One paddle left, two paddles right, right, right... left.!"
And she made it to shore with a broad smile.

She'd conquered that boat.
EVERYONE cheered.
She was totally proud of herself.

And under my breath I muttered something about investing in a kayak....


momof4boys said...

Caleb says, "Ah, the key to learning to listen!! If she can't get the listening part, stick her in a kayak and push her out to sea!" She either depends on you or spends the day up a creek with a paddle she doesn't know how to use.

momof4boys said...

Caleb says, "Ah, the key to learning to listen! If he can't listen, put her in a kayak and push her out to sea!" She'll be up a creek with a paddle she doesn't know how to use. Her only hope is depending on someone else for instruction. I think you landed on a good therapy by accident, until she figure out how to paddle.

Oldqueen44 said...

That is the most awesome teaching, learning, obedience, submission, fun lesson ever. Love it.

Anonymous said...

N0W .