When I was growing up, my family owned an inflatable raft. It was nothing fancy. It was about four by six feet in size and required numerous exhalations through puckered lips to fill. It was white with a maroon trim. My oldest sister ordered the raft from a catalog after having sold the requisite number of Christmas cards for a fundraiser. She no doubt planned to use it for her tanning sessions at the local pond. For me, however, at first sight, it was thrilling to think that I would be able to ride out into the center of the pond where the water was deep. Even now as I remember this, I feel like getting a raft and launching an expedition from the shore of Paradise Point State Park. Who needs Hawaii when you can have that much fun close to home?
Rafts, of course, are not always meant for sun bathing or adventure. Rafts are also needed for survival. Recently, it occurred to me that one of the best questions we can ask of ourselves and others is “How is your raft?” In this instance, I am not referring to the literal kind of raft that requires lots of lung power to inflate. I am referring to our metaphorical rafts: those means by which we stay afloat and on course during our everyday lives. With this in mind, what’s your answer? Is your raft full of air and bounce? Or, does it have a few holes and leaks? In the coming weeks, I invite you to let me know if there are any support groups that our church could offer to help you with your raft.
Kaye Kipp, for example, is willing to lead a grief support group. A church at which I was once a member has a support group for those who are unemployed and seeking work. Lately, I have been interested in forming a support group for those seeking to put into practice goal-oriented habits that add meaning and well-being to one’s life. Such habits might include writing part of a novel every morning before work, meditating for 15 minutes each afternoon, exercising on a daily basis, or reading ten pages of an uplifting book every night before sleep. It’s often said that for something to become a habit one must do it for 30 days. Thus, over the course of a month, this support group would meet weekly for breakfast or lunch to encourage members to be accountable for forming a particular habit by the end of 30 days.
At times in our lives, all of us need a raft to either keep us from drowning or help us toward our next destination. Please let me know if there might be ways for our church to help you put a little more air in your raft.
Your brother in Christ,