Last summer, several tribesmen and I ventured out on a Saturday to paddleboard across a 3.5-mile stretch of open water. The winds were high, we had forgotten the leashes for our paddleboards, and storm warnings were in effect for our area.
Recounting it now, the trip had the potential to be disastrous. It was a trip that left us feeling closer to God, but not for the reasons we imagined.
We overrode our better judgment, and as soon as we got far enough from land to feel the full effects of the wind, our focus shifted to simply staying on top of the boards. The rough waters separated us into two groups of two, but we pressed on.
A short time later, my buddy went into the water and he was forced to pursue his board to keep it from escaping. As he swam toward the board, I worked to push it back toward him. When my buddy finally made his way out of the water, we mutually agreed to sit or kneel on our boards for the rest of the trip to improve our stability.
And until the end of the trip when my confidence got the best of me, that’s exactly what we did.
But about 300 yards from shore, I was full of adrenaline and proud of myself for surviving this challenge at all. I stood up on my board to cross the finish line the same way I started the trip, when a crosswind hit me from the side. I lost my balance and fell in the water. As I had previously done for him, my paddle buddy chased down my board while I worked to keep my panic at bay.
After what seemed like an eternity, I was back on the board, exhausted, elated, and headed for land. I realized in the aftermath of the trip that there were parallels between the trip on the angry waters and the lives we live here on earth.
The whole experience taught me that storms will come, and the world will be turbulent. We must train mentally, physically, and spiritually every day. We must also surround ourselves with friends and family who stand shoulder to shoulder with us, and we must rely on God to guide us through the difficult times.
We should also stay humble. When we’re tempted to believe that we’ve got it all figured out and that we’re self-sufficient, life has a way of knocking us down a few notches. If things are going well, be thankful, but prepare for the approaching storm.
The men of Junto Tribe understand the importance of tribesmen to come alongside one another in moments of struggle and strife. We work every day to rely fully on God for guidance, direction, and purpose.
Join the discussion. Engage with the men in your own community and begin the work of building your own tribe. Not only will you benefit from the tribe, but your family will and the families of every man who engages with your tribe will be strengthened as well.