White Water Snorkeling
By Brad Paulson
"'Scuse me, dude. Is this camera just like waterproof like for use in the rain or can you like actually take it under water to like snap some awesome pics of the fishes?"
George looked up from the multi-colored boxes of printer ink and said politely, "I'm sorry son, I don't work here."
"No worries, dude. I just thought like you looked like a dude that knew his way around photo equipment, a lot of the drug store employees aren't up on the latest technological innovations. You see, some buds and me are teaming up to start publicizing a new extreme sport we started. White water snorkeling dude! It's awesome! Just imagine yourself like gliding, a hundred miles an hour, staring down at the rocky bottom of a crystal clear mountain stream just a few inches below you. And then wham! Freefallin' over a waterfall and then getting pushed down to the bottom of the pool below. Oh dude, it's awesome, like unbelievably awesome!"
George stared at the shaggy-haired young man who was now enthusiastically shaking his head up and down as if answering yes to a question that hadn't been asked. Although George's primary objective was to get his ink and go, it was obvious that the young man wanted to engage in conversation, and George's gut feeling was that walking away would not be enough to prevent that from happening.
"Sounds a little dangerous," said George.
"Oh dude, it is. See this gash on my forehead? That's what happened when I connected head on with a boulder. We started wearin' helmets after this one, hey, like you wouldn't know where I could pick up some waterproof shoulder pads would you? I got a gnarly bruise last weekend," the young man replied, resuming his head bobbing.
"My name is George. I don't believe you told me your name."
"Dude, what a trip. My name is George too, but my buds call me Gorge on account of my extreme white water snorkeling skills. You know, like shooting through a gorge."
"I gathered that. So tell me Gorge, you seem very driven to this sport. What is it that would make you want to risk your life? It seems to me that-" George was interrupted as an elderly woman greeted him.
"Good afternoon Pastor Clemens," the woman said.
"Good afternoon Mrs. Darby," said George.
"No way, dude! Like are you a pastor or something? I was just getting ready to tell you about Jesus Christ! What a trip, like you already know!"
"Uh, well yes, I am a pastor and actually I was getting ready to tell you about Jesus. I thought that since you were engaged in such high risk behavior, perhaps you hadn't heard the good news of the Gospel. That perhaps you were searching for something, for validation or a sense of purpose."
"Oh dude, this is like hilarious. Jesus Christ is my validation and purpose, but white water snorkeling is my ministry. I've introduced six guys to Christ so far and like we've only been doing it for a couple of months. I call it baptism in white water, full immersion dude! I was afraid you didn't know Christ 'cause like you seemed a little uptight and I didn't sense the joy." Gorge stopped bobbing his head for the first time since the conversation had begun. "Hey, this is bad, like shouldn't we be able to sense Christ in each other even before we start talking? I'm feeling some deep concerns here, dude."
"I think the positive thing is that once given the opportunity we both took the initiative to witness to each other, but I must admit it is a little distressing that you felt the need to witness to me," George replied a bit embarrassed.
"Dude, I don't think this was a chance meeting, like I think we can learn from each other. What ya say we hit the river next Saturday with my buds, and then like we hit your church on Sunday? It'll be awesome dude!" Gorge resumed his head bobbing.
"I'll think about it, Gorge," said George
"Better pray about it dude. It's gonna be gnarly!"
BRAD PAULSON is a construction superintendent by day and a freelance writer by night. He resides in Spokane, Washington, with his lovely wife, Mardi, and two sons, Will and Rob. His writing has been published in several FaithWriters anthology books, Cross Times Magazine, and on a variety of Christian Websites. He is a regular contributor to FaithWriters.com and is dedicated to glorifying God through his writing.