Many things can affect a small shell and its sculler on a large body of water. Current, wind, and other traffic all impact one’s course and heading to lesser or greater degrees. The decision to venture out of safe harbor or to press on toward one’s destinaton is solely the rower’s. The work to overcome forces beyond one’s control is literally in the hands of the oarsman.
In the cosmic scheme of things, time in a scull is time well spent. It causes one to consider things from a different perspective. The boat is very small and relatively unstable. The river is large and dispassionate in its power. The city hums yet the wildlife and the rower are quiet. If one has spent time on the sliding seat and has not mused upon the idea of God, then he has missed the point.
This rower does not question the presence of God in life, rather he muses upon his relationship to the Deity in the vastness of creation. The currents of the river can lead one to a determinism in which pulling on the oars is a futile endeavor. The rhythms of the heart can lead one to a libertarianism that believes that one can keep his point in all conditions with enough work and good technique. But the rower knows that neither extreme is true. It is the relationship of the currents and the rhythms that make for the adventure of life. Not a “god vs. man” nor a “god helping man” life, but a “God with man” relationship that impacts every piece, every stroke, every breath.
Upon these things I will occasionally muse.
Fear would keep me from being on the river. Respect for the river will keep me out of it.