Assembly Notes: What does water skiing have to do with following God?

“Following God is like water skiing” – Mr. Phil Sena

If you have ever been water skiing, you understand the exhilarating feeling of being pulled up out the cold water from the abrupt, powerful tug of the speeding boat ahead of you.

With the spray from the wake hitting your face, the wind whipping against your legs, every muscle tightens to brace against the choppy water under your skis. You feel the urge to pull your arms back against the rope, but knowing that if you try to pull, you will fall, you lock your arms and tighten your already burning grip on the rope handle. You begin to settle into the pace, finding an even balance on the skis, using your knees as shock absorbers to the chop, when without warning, the boat suddenly turns, sending you flying out toward the rough edges of the wake. White knuckled, you allow the boat to pull you over the jagged water, and just when you think you might fall, you are outside the wake, skis skimming smoothly across the calm water. Celebrating this small victory, you relax your grip slightly, perhaps even let go with one hand to wave at the spotter. You would love to stay outside of the wave forever, but inevitably you will have to go back across the choppy water. You once again grasp the rope firmly with both hands to prepare for the quick turn of the boat, which sends you flying across the whitecaps to the other side of the wake.

“Keep your knees bent…be ready for anything, expect the unexpected”

When you ski, you must always keep your knees bent. It helps you absorb the shock of bouncing over the chop. As the water behind the boat is not smooth, similarly life is not always smooth sailing. In life you must learn to take things in stride, and be ready for anything that may come your way. Keeping your knees bent keeps you balanced, and in life being prepared for the unexpected does as well.

“Keep your hands on the rope…Stay tied to God”

The most fundamental way to stay above the water when skiing is to never let go of the rope. In life we can never let go of our relationship with God. We must hold on to Him tightly, for He is our lifeline. He is the One who leads us through the trials and tests that come in life, for if we let go, we will fall. When you are about to cross the wake while skiing, you must tighten your grip to make it across safely. Similarly, when experiencing a difficult trial in life, we must draw closer to God and He will see us through (2 Peter 2:9). As Mr. Phil Sena told the students in assembly, “Stay tied to God, and He will take you through anything that you go through in life.”

*Photos from the Living Youth Program, TX Teen Camp, 2017