The Locks

Peggy Byland

Read: Psalm 23

He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. (vv. 2-3)

The St. Marys River, flowing southeast for 75 miles along the United States and Canadian border, connects Lake Superior in the north and Lake Huron in the south. At the northern end of the St. Marys River, ships must navigate past the 24-foot drop of fast-flowing, cascading rapids through the Soo Locks. The locks allow freighters and water traffic to make their way north to Lake Superior or south along the St. Marys River. Freighters and traffic at the southern end of the river, make a sharp west turn through the two-mile DeTour Passage into the vast expanse of Lake Huron. Located on this most eastern point of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is the small village of DeTour, or detour, a French word meaning “the turn.”

Like the fast-flowing water of Lake Superior to the St. Marys River, sometimes our lives seem unnavigable. Rapids send us downstream, spiraling at the fall’s end. Rocks and debris make our passing difficult. Our lives are muddied by churning forces and we falter to keep life’s balance.

At these times, God calls us like a shepherd (or ship captain) to rest, to step away from the chaos of life and spend time with him. God breathes respite into our weary bodies and troubled spirits. Like locks, slowly filling and emptying, God restores us to a new level from which we can continue our journey. With God we prepare for “the turn” opening us into the vastness of life once again. —Peggy Byland

As you pray, ask God to give you respite on your journey of life preparing you for “the turns.”