Monday, November 3, 2014

The River

This past summer, while on a break from my bus driving duties, I spent some time sitting on the bank of the river that runs out by the camp. I stayed there about an hour, relaxing and watching some of the wildlife. As I sat, a number of things made their way through my mind.

I saw a hawk and an osprey fly along the surface of the river looking for fish. At one point the hawk dove into the water and came up with a meal. I saw fish come up to the surface and snatch the insects scurrying there. I thought how the river is a giver of life, and was reminded of Jesus' statement that rivers of living water would flow from those who would follow him, that water being the Spirit of the One who gives eternal life.

I saw a cicada fall into the water and twice narrowly miss being dinner for a fish. The cicada tried to swim to a branch or something to get out of the water, struggling more and more as his wings grew tired and waterlogged. I thought of how the river can also be a bringer of death. It was high and flowing swiftly, and anyone caught in the current would have been in danger. I saw branches and other debris carried downstream by the inexorable flow, and thought of the way life can be. As I get older, I am more aware of how quickly time passes, and how it moves relentlessly to the end. Sometimes life, like the river, brings us death. Dreams, goals, careers, and so on, can die as our lives change. Death is a fact of life.

Since June, I have often felt like I am in a river that is running swiftly. I don't know where it is taking me and I feel as if there is not a whole lot I can do about it. On one hand, there is some uneasiness because of the unknown. One the other, there is a feeling of adventure. There is a sense of moving into new territory and a wonder at what I might find there. I believe that I have a guide with me on this journey, even though he currently is not saying much along the way.

All along, I have had the sense that God was going to do something a bit unexpected with me. I still feel that way. What that may be, I don't know. The river may take me to a tropical paradise, or it may leave me stuck on a sandbar for a while. I am sure that it will be interesting, and I know my Father is good and that he loves me.

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