When a whitewater raft guide shouts, “Eddy out!” he doesn’t mean, “Throw someone named Edward out of the boat!” It’s the command for the people on one side to hold their paddles against the current while the others stroke. This turns the raft out of the swift water and into the quiet eddies along the river’s edge.

Shooting the rapids is exciting but tiring. When the guide sees that everyone needs a break, he says, “Eddy out!”

During Jesus’ last 3 years on earth, the velocity of His life increased dramatically. He was teaching, healing, and constantly being mobbed by needy people. There was enough work to keep Christ busy 24 hours a day. Yet, in the Gospels we see Jesus’ pattern: “When He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray” (Mk. 6:46).

Perhaps your opportunities and achievements are coming hard and fast lately. Now is the most important word in your vocabulary. Life is exhilarating and you can’t wait to hit the next set of rapids, but you sense that Christ your Guide is saying, “Eddy out. Follow My example. Slow down. Stop, rest, and nourish your soul.”

Along the river of life, there’s a time to paddle and a time to pray. Make sure you’re listening to your Guide.