It’s A River   Leave a comment

Wisconsin Great River Road, Mississippi River,...

Wisconsin Great River Road, Mississippi River, and bluffs. Public domain photo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning I decided that life is a river.  The reason that I say this is because it has become clear to me that there is nothing about life that is stagnant, except maybe some people’s attitudes.  I have always thought of life as a road or a path.  I have viewed it as something that we journey on and move along.  However, I think that life is much more like a river than a road or a path even.  So let me explain my view.

Like a road or a path, a river is something on which people can journey.  In fact, living near  the Mississippi River for a few years of my life, I often would see people journey upon the river.  There was even a time in the life of many Americans that their main means of getting from one location to another was on a boat on a river.  The river and the power of the vessel can take a person a long distance.  Life is that way as well.  Life and the power within us can take us a long distance on the journey from cradle to grave.

The one area that is significantly different when we are looking at a river or a road is that a river is moving.  The road or path that we walk upon does not move at all.  It is either made of concrete or asphalt, or it has become beaten down and hard due to the traffic upon it.  However, it never moves, only the people traveling upon it move.  A river is quite different, it is constantly on the move.  At times those traveling upon it are taken by the current which is in continuous motion.  At other times the travelers are fighting against the current to move in a direction that is different.  The river does not care, it just keeps moving.  I think life is very much like that.  It continues to move in its own direction and the travelers upon it either follow that direction or fight hard to set their own direction.

Since a river is in continuous motion, it has the power to redirect its own path.  Anyone that knows much about a river channel and the banks on the side of the river knows the power the river has to change its course.  Over the last few years, we have experienced many floods and it is quite common during those floods that the river will come out of them with a slightly altered course.  Even without floods, the river over time cuts new paths.  Life is exactly the same.  Whether because of stronger forces altering the course of life or just the natural changes that occur through the power of life, the course does change.

Sometimes humans try to alter the course and direction of a river.  What we have discovered time and time again is that while the river may adjust and adapt for a period of time, eventually the river takes control again and sets its own course and direction.  (Just ask anyone who lives along the Missouri River.)  Again, I see this in life.  Humans can try to alter the course or direction of life and it may appear that we have been successful.  However, over time life regains control and direction of its own choosing.

All of this has caused me to ponder how I navigate through life.  I believe that there are aspects of life that I can determine for myself.  However, I believe that life is going to continue to flow with or without my decisions.  I can choose to journey on this river and navigate with it or I can choose to fight it.  I can choose to be on the river or I can choose to be one of the stagnant ponds that becomes disconnected from the river.  Ultimately, I know who controls the river — my Lord.  So I will the Lord control the river, I will enjoy journeying upon it, and I will enjoy the scenery and the flow as the direction and course changes.


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