OVER THE WAKE
by Cindy Boersma (1993 or 94)
"I don't want to water ski any more," I cried through my clenched teeth as the boat pulled me through the water.
The beach was getting closer. I stood stiff legged on the skis, trying to keep them from slipping away. The boat wake loomed like a mountain on either side of me, and suddenly the joy and excitement of water skiing was replaced by fear. Would I make it over without crashing? Would I be able to hang on to the rope until the right time?
I can feel that same fear now as I see that mountain of college unknowns standing in my future. Will the classes be too hard? Will I do well? Will I make lots of friends? Can I make it on my own? Life up to now has been safe under the protection of my parents' roof, but soon I will leave this safe place and see what I am made of.
I had to see what I was made of that day water skiing. Staying behind the boat in the smooth water between the wakes, I felt safe, but every skier knows that to be let off at the beach he can't stay behind the boat. When it is time to be let off, the boat angles toward the shore. Then it speeds up as it turns back again. The skier flies over the wake and toward the shore. When he can't get any closer by holding the rope, he lets go and glides smoothly into the shallow water. All this may look simple when done by someone else, but for the first time it doesn't seem so simple.
Looking at the wake that day, I began to doubt my ability. I could just see myself tumbling head over heels onto the skis and hard water beneath me. Why did I have to go into the shore? Couldn't I keep on skiing, staying safe between the wakes? I wanted to believe that, but I knew that was unreasonable. My arms and legs were already starting to ache. If the boat didn't run out of gas first, I would. Then I would crash for sure.
"Let go of the rope," a voice in my head suggested, "then you could avoid the humiliation and hurt in crashing and just sink safely into the water."
Yes, that would be so much easier, but no. I had to hold on because letting go would be giving up. If I let go, I would never know if I could cross that big wake. And to be the best water skier I can be, I have to cross it one day.
"Just let go," the voice repeated.
The boat was speeding up. I had to decide now. So I took a deep breath, gripped the handle with all my might, and turned my skis toward the wake.
The unknowns in my future may look as big as the wake of that boat, but no matter what, I will take a deep breath, grip the handle with all my might, and turn my skis toward the wake.
I will not let go!
Well, there it is. "Hmmm." I am sitting here thinking, and don't quite know what to say. Who would have known that I would come to a time later in my life when I would let go...
...Maybe though, God is giving me another chance to make a grand beach finish.