The other weekend my family and I did one of our favorite summer activities. We LOVE to raft down the Provo river. This river isn’t a very aggressive river, but it is the perfect speed for lots of kids and is a great way to cool off in the heat of summer. I love everything about this activity and am so thankful for such a great family to enjoy the beauty of God’s creations with.

As we were rafting down the river, I started thinking about how life is kind of like rafting down a river. My favorite place to sit on the raft is at the very front, center of the raft. I love to dangle my feet over the raft and feel like it’s the best place to steer and direct the raft. As the person at the front of the boat, it is my job to try and keep the raft centered down the river. With the rapids, it is easy for the boat to get off centered from the banks of the river if I am not constantly rowing on either side of the boat. Even on those spots where the rapids aren’t intense, if you get side tracked for even a few seconds, your raft can quickly become off centered and you can be thrown to the sides of the river before you know it.

I started thinking about how keeping your raft centered is just like keeping your family centered on our Savior, Jesus Christ. There are so many distractions in life that try and distract us from keeping our lives centered on the things that matter most. It is so easy to ‘put our oars down’, lose sight of our goals and get quickly off course. I started thinking about how that is in my own life. I feel many times like I am pulled in so many directions it is hard to keep my family always looking forward and focused on Christ. With one more month of summer, and our move coming to a close, I am recommitted to making sure my family keeps doing those things that will keep our lives focused on God. 

Summer can be an easy time to ‘jump out of the raft’ and fill our days with things that don’t really matter most. Although we all need a break from the mundane things in life, I have found our family works so much better when we’re doing the small, yet important things, that keep us close to God. Things like family scripture study, family prayer and attending our church meetings are the small things that seem to make the biggest difference. 

I hope you are having an amazingly fun, yet Christ-centered summer. I loved this quote from Brigham Young when he said,

“We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … All is right, sing Hallelujah, for the Lord is here. He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right.”

May God bless you and your families this summer. 

~Shandra

*Need a quick Sabbath talk to read, check out this one titled Stay in The Boat by M. Russel Ballard. It’s a favorite 😉