When I was young, we went on vacation at the Black River Lodge.
The Lodge sponsored outdoor movies, volleyball and float trips.
My father took my sister, Kerry, and I on a float trip.
We had a lot of fun heading down the river in an old, aluminum canoe.
With me in the front, my sister in the middle and my dad in back, we sometimes ran aground.
Once, we came around a bend and drifted into a bunch of branches.
The branches surrounded me in the front of the canoe.
My dad hopped out of the canoe and into the river to try and pull us out, against the current.
Instantly, he knew something was amiss.
The river water swirled around him and he felt himself sink in some mud.
Then he began to sink some more.
He started to thrash and kick a bit in a futile attempt to dislodge himself from the mud.
The more he fought, the deeper the mud.
Kerry and I were not entirely sure what was going on.
Our father was a pillar of strength, a former Marine and the toughest man on the planet.
But the water kept creeping up his torso.
Eventually, it reached his shoulders and we could see the water swirling around him.
We tried to push out from the tree entanglement, but no luck.
My dad kept kicking and kept sinking.
Then all of a sudden, he stopped.
He quit resisting.
The mud released him and he floated slowly to the surface.
The resistance turned out to be his enemy.
It was only when he quit fighting and let go that he saved himself (and us).
Sometimes, we struggle too hard. We fight when we should relax. We make things worse.
For today, let us look for opportunities to relax. To not struggle. To let nature take its course.
Watch ourselves float to the surface.