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Financial Planning,General

Drifting Away

My wife and I recently got back from a trip to Wyoming to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was fantastic to 1) get away and 2) be overwhelmed at the majesty and beauty of God’s creation.  One of our favorite parts was a float trip we took down the Snake river.  It was a nice break from hiking to sit back and enjoy the scenery while we lazily floated down the river.  While we drifted, I was reminded of a few lessons along the way…

Coasting Can Get You In Trouble

While the Snake River seems mostly calm at first glance, we covered 10 miles of river in about 2 hours.  There wasn’t any need to paddle, motor, or strain to move the raft – it just hummed along with the current.  For the most part you can just follow the river on down.  But there are fallen trees, big rocks, and other hazards along the way that we would have gotten stuck on if we just drifted on our own.

In life, floating has that same allure.  If I can just eliminate the frustrations and stresses in life, it seems like floating along for a while would be pretty appealing.  Life with five kids in the home certainly can suggest that!  But there is no true safe coasting in life or on a river.  There is always debris and danger lurking if we’re not careful.  No matter how much I try to plan things out, I can’t get to a place where I can simply float without eventually drifting into trouble.

There Is No Standing Still

Just as on the river, there is no standing still in life.  It took absolutely zero effort to get going down the river.  The moment you enter, the current zips you off on the way.

In fact, if you don’t want to be carried downstream, it takes considerable effort to paddle against the current.  Not losing progress is work, while going against the current is a non-stop battle.

Hebrews 2:1 warns us of this – “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”  It takes careful attention (i.e. hard work) to not drift in life.  The older and more tired I get, the more alluring coasting seems.  It seems like surely just resting for a bit won’t be that bad.  But God instructs us that resting for any length of time frankly isn’t an option.  We’re to run our races with perseverance to the end, until one day when we get to enter true rest in heaven.

We Need a Guide

Jay was a great guide for us on the river.  Informative, experienced, and fun.  He manned the oars the entire time, keeping us heading in the right direction.  Having led around 200 trips a year for 12 years, he knew every inch of the waters and where to spot bald eagles, moose tracks, and how to avoid the hidden obstacles.

Proverbs 15:22 reminds us that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.”  Having Jay onboard allowed us to not have to give a moment’s thought to any of those things and allowed us to simply enjoy the ride.

At Shepherd, we delight in serving as a guide for your finances, helping our clients to avoid hidden obstacles and navigate the waters to get to the finish line as smoothly as possible.  We love being in the raft with you and allowing you to benefit from our years of guiding others along the way.

Rafting with Jay reminded me of the privilege that is, and how necessary it is to have a guide along for the ride with you.  So thanks for allowing us to travel in the boat with you and share the journey.  We’ll do our best to continue to navigate the waters and hopefully the adventure will be just as enjoyable for you!