Have you ever been in a situation where your parents wanted you to do something you were deathly afraid of? They might have meant well but the experience still terrified you. In July of 1961, Dad thought that taking us kids out on the lake aboard a wooden floating contraption would be an enjoyable activity for us. But for me, it was terrifying.
At the Sylvan Lake resort, the company operating it had what they called surf boards. They weren’t like the kind used by surfers but long rectangular enclosed boxes. Dad rented one for an hour and led the three of us kids to the beach.
At first, I enjoyed sitting on the candy-apple red floater. But when the water was up to Dad’s neck, I grew afraid. I stared in horror at the water which seemed a million feet deep. When I told Dad I was afraid I’d drown, he said, “No you won’t. I’m here and I’ll make sure you won’t drown. Look at Diane. She isn’t afraid.”
None of his words convinced me. As I wailed in terror, he fumed. “I rented this thing for a whole hour and you have to spoil it for the rest of us,” he complained as he pushed the pseudo-surf board toward the shore.
As I sat alone in the shallow water, I thought about the incident. I didn’t want to spoil everybody’s fun but I felt paralyzed with terror at being so far from shore. My young mind wrestled with the unfairness of the situation as I waited for the hour to end.
I’ve had many times in my life when a decision made by my parents caused me anguish. The worst one happened in September of 1964 when I was sent to an institute for the blind. Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School contains the full story of my exile from home for months at a time. Visit the Bruce Atchison’s books link to find out more about life in that government-run institution.
Spiritual elders also hurt me with their criticisms and decisions. I recently published my testimony called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Read about God’s providential leading in my life at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers.