Be the River, Not the Pond

Yellow_Medicine_RiverWater is a powerful for us (humans).

In faith, water is a big deal. Jesus is the Living Water. Water is an element in many of his miracles: calming the storm, walking on water, water to wine, healing with water, the woman at the well…We use water to get baptized…Some churches use water for communion (mine, of course, uses wine).

In health, we all know the mantra Drink More Water. Our bodies are made of mostly water.

Water can also be a powerful metaphor (like that calming the storm story). We have sayings like “Calm before the storm”, “Don’t rock the boat”, “Water under the bridge”.

So, hopefully I have made the case for water.

river_1As I embark on this new version of my life, I decided I want to think of my life as a river.

There are times where it is tranquil and others where the white water is treacherous. Times of drought and flood. Part of my journey in life has been to cut a new course and other parts of my journey are faithfully maintaining the course.

But I think there are times I have tried to live life like it was a pond. Small. Fully surrounded. When times are good, I want everything in the pond to stay exactly the same.

And when times are bad, I don’t see beyond the banks, the same water just there, flat, non moving, small.

The thing is, ponds stagnate. If they are not infused with new water- like from a river- they grow scum and will kill off the fish and they smell bad.

Rivers can be polluted, but their onward flow purifies. Even water polluted with sewage will be clean after it travels far enough.

This idea has all ready been working for me as I take in new info or have an off day or wonder about the future:

Be the River. Not the Pond.

Yes, there is ebb and flow. And it can make me a little breathless at times. But the current is moving and the scenery is changing and the water is clear.

Do you have a metaphor that is meaningful to you?