Taylor: There comes a time of no turning back

There comes a moment, when you go whitewater rafting down a turbulent river, when you can’t turn back.

There comes a moment, when you go whitewater rafting down a turbulent river, when you can’t turn back. The first time the Taylor family tried it, we went on the Maligne River in Jasper National Park.

The guide launched our group on Maligne Lake. As we paddled across the still waters of the lake, he taught us the various commands—paddle forward, backwater, draw to this side, draw to that side.

As we approached the spot where the lake emptied itself into the river, the surface was still glassy smooth. But we could feel a current moving beneath us, carrying us forward.

Then the lake was no longer horizontal. It tipped. The slope got steeper. We could no longer pull out of this adventure, even if we wanted to.

We had passed that point of no return. We had no choice, now, but to plunge down the chute into the welter of foam at the bottom, to carry on to the end, wherever that might be.

This coming Sunday, most of the Christian world celebrates Palm Sunday—remembered as the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. He didn’t get an official red carpet, so the crowds created their own carpet by flinging cloaks and palm branches on the road.

I wonder when he passed his point of no return. Was it that Palm Sunday ride into Jerusalem? Or did it come later—assuming the usual chronology of the gospels is accurate—when he stormed through the Temple, overturning the tables of the money changers and setting the sacrificial pigeons loose?

Or perhaps it came earlier, when he decided that he could not let the body of his friend Lazarus moulder in the darkness of a tomb.

Or perhaps even earlier, when “he set his face to go to Jerusalem” despite warnings that he would be killed there.

Whenever it was, there came a point where he could no longer back out. He could no longer retreat to the relative safety of the boondocks around Galilee.

If he had stayed in Galilee, he might have attracted a sizeable following, built a mega-church, hired lots of staff, and lived comfortably on tax-exempt donations.

But he didn’t stay in Galilee. At some point, he made a decision. He was going through with this, whatever the outcome.

Did he know it would end on a cross?

The gospel narratives suggest that—but then, they were written anywhere at least 50 years later, when every implication of his words had lots of time to ferment in his disciples’ imaginations.

“Aha!” they would say to themselves, much later, “that must have been what he meant!”

Hinduism might speak about the karma of going to Jerusalem. Each decision committed him to the next action. Once started, the river swept him along inexorably. Past a certain point, there was no pulling out.

As I went down the Maligne River, I felt a mixture of wild exultation and sheer terror. I wonder if Jesus had any similar feelings as he rode into Jerusalem.

Just Posted

JoeAnna’s House fundraising campaign reaches $4.5 million

Offering ‘home away from home’ for families of KGH patients

Flood recovery work to begin on Upper Vernon Creek

The first phase of $5 million dollar flood recovery plan for Upper Vernon Creek will begin on Monday

Kelowna exhibition showcases nature of Haida Gwaii

The Kelowna Art Gallery is holding a reception for Gwaii Haanas – Islands and Sacred Sites Friday

Crime Stoppers: Stamping out crime for 31 years

Beginning in Kelowna, Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers has take a big bite out of crime

UPDATED: One-bedroom unit rental prices climb in Kelowna

One bedrooms are up 15 per cent according to a recent report

Canadian junior captain returns to Rockets lineup

Dillon Dube will be back in Kelowna’s lineup Wednesday night after world juniors and bout of flu

Dube, Foote pace Rockets to O.T. win

World junior gold medalists key in 4-3 victory Wednesday over Lethbridge

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

Public asked to report bat sightings

White nose syndrome leads to bats flying in winter or death.

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Song penned for Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Curling Time released to celebrate Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

Most Read