boats - Related Content

Push, pull and go with the flow

Thursday, April 21st 2016 12:02 pm
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA


barge on the river
Image courtesy of

One of the gifts of living near the Mississippi is observing the movement and activity along the river. With the spring thaw already in motion, it’s becoming common to see water enthusiasts travel in a variety of vessels. Each water craft, from the large barges that are several football fields in length to kayaks and several sizes of boats in between, offers a different river experience.

I have always had a fascination with tug boats and barges. I remember as a child going to locks and dams and watching the lockmasters raise or lower the water to help the barges navigate the conditions along the Mississippi. These large barges were maneuvered by the seemingly tiny yet powerful tug boats. It’s amazing to watch something so small have so much strength to move what seemed to be impossible. Barges do not move fast. They are big and carry a lot of cargo inside. It takes a very skilled captain to navigate the ever-changing channels. 

Sitting in prayer along the river one day I began to contemplate how discernment can be experienced like different water vessels. Sometimes it feels quick like a speed boat and we zoom along in discernment. Some moments are full of deep pondering like every methodical stroke of the paddle in a kayak. And other times it can be like a tugboat with barges attached, as we feel guided in the process. What kind of water vessel are you metaphorically traveling in at this point in your discernment? 

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