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"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I lived on the banks of a river . . . and it captured my attention. These are my observations about the parallels between my life...and the river.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Rising waters

Today the river is high. There has been much rain, causing it to swell and push against the banks which hold it captive. The water is muddy and murky. On the surface it looks rather calm. Moving quickly, but calm. However, if anything gets in its way, it will be carried swiftly away, with no chance of return. And if you set anything in the river to try to redirect it or stop its flow, chaos will erupt, as the rough currents just below the surface will create a set of whitewater rapids.

How often am I like that? Things happen that raise my stress level. On the outside I am still relatively calm. Determined, perhaps, even a little pushy. But calm.

Until you cross me.

Then I rage like a river out of control. All the undercurrents rise to the surface and explode, flooding everyone around me with debris from the storm raging within.

Peace like a river.

What does that expression mean? What is the river like?

Sometimes dark & murky. Sometimes calm. Sometimes raging. It feeds and nourishes, it provides a habitat for plants & animals. It also kills and destroys.

That is an interesting comparison to peace. I don't think this is the tranquility that we so often are asking for when we ask for peace about a situation. As I look at the river, I come to think that this kind of peace would refer more to a complete calm and deep seated trust in the Creator of the river. The One who promises that peace. A calm and trust that will center our souls and enable us to hold on and ride out the rapids and the storms.

The river is at flood stage today. Roads are closed, the waters are dark, muddy, murky and dangerous.

Riverside parks and gazebos are underwater. Firefighters and emergency personnel are everywhere along the banks, preparing for power outages and possible fires as the water creeps closer to power lines.

The water is supposed to continue to rise throughout the day as the rain keeps coming.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Not a typo

You may be looking at the name of this blog saying, "Shouldn't it be life ON the river?" Well, the answer is no. Yes, I did say in my profile that I live on a river, but life IN the river is a very different story.

Life ON the river speaks of sitting back in a lawn chair, sipping lemonade, watching things happen from a safe distance. You can talk about the whitewater rapids and the flooding, but you're safe. You don't have to experience it yourself.

Life IN the river is entirely different. You are relinquishing your safety and taking a risk! You are experiencing first hand the joys, trials and spontenaity of the river. Looking at it from a spiritual perspective, you might say, "Are you just going to observe or are you going to give it your all and dive in?!"

These first few posts are actually from my journal entries of the last week. I've been spending more and more time observing the river. Sitting on its banks, watching how it changes with the weather, observing the different aspects of life that are touched and changed by it. There are such clear parallels between the real-life river and the spiritual river that feeds my soul.

Our infinitely creative Creator designed certain cycles and processes that are the same year after year throughout nature. There are also parts of creation that are constantly changing from year to year. But it is the same with our lives. I find that it is so reassuring to see both the chaos and the order of my life reflected in nature. It helps to bring a little perspective to my often myopic vision.

So please join me for the journey! It gets lonely sometimes, I'd love the company. And as you experience the twists and turns of life, feel free to comment and share those with me and our fellow river dwellers.

The River

The morning silence is cut by the sound of a speedboat. Prior to that, the only noise on the banks of the river was the birds singing and the occasional splash of a fish.

Most mornings this past week, the river’s surface has been smooth as glass. It almost seemed that the pressure from the intense humidity was pressing the water down flat.

Today the humidity has broken. The surface of the river is broken up by a million little ripples as the gentle breezes tease the water.

The sky is overcast but not gloomy.

The river mirrors my life in so many ways. Everything is quiet and beautiful, then something comes charging through and stirs things up.

Pressures try to conform me. People’s expectations. Even my own expectations. Sometimes that pressure is released and I am free to be the person God intended me to be.

Last night I started to read the book, Shattered Dreams, by Larry Crabb and I was so shaken up by the introduction alone.

The concept was this – what if God allows our dreams to be shattered so that we will seek the higher dream of experiencing Him and Him alone? Our dreams only reach as far as our knowledge. Sometimes not even that far. We can’t dream of that which we do not know.

I get so scared when things I hold dear are taken away. So many things are in a state of chaos in my life right now. My dreams, relationships, you name it, it’s undergoing change. And not the way I want to see it.

I guess the biggest question for me is, do I trust Him?

I don’t have an answer for that yet. But I want it to be yes!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Welcome to . . .


In the River.

Not always predictable, not always safe. But definitely not boring!

Won't you join me for the ride?