What I pondered Wednesday #5

Hunt, Texas; April 2010
I know I'm a bit early, but I wanted to share this short story anyways.

"Once there was a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all--young and old, rich and poor, good and evil--the current going its own way knowing only its crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life and resisting the current what each had learned from birth. 
     But one creature said at last, 'But I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging I shall die of boredom.' 
    The other creatures laughed and said 'Fool! Let go and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks and you will die quicker than boredom.'  
    But the one heeded them not. And taking a breath, he did let go and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet in time as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom. And he was bruised and hurt no more. 
    And the creatures downstream to whom he was a stranger cried 'See! A miracle! A creature like ourselves yet he flies! See the messiah come to save us all!' And the one carried in the current said 'I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.'  But they cried the more 'Savior!' all the while clinging to the rocks. And when they looked again he was gone and they were left alone making legends of a savior."
Illusions by Richard Bach

This story could easily be interpreted to speak against Christ but I don't think it does. If we view the river as God, the story makes perfect sense. We cling to our sins, to our comforts, to our way of life. We fear what will happen if we let go and let God. So instead, we stay put & live our lives resisting His will.

When we finally let go we are so often battered, much like the creature in the story. Change is hard. It takes adjusting. It takes discomfort. Friendships may need to be severed. Habits may need to be changed. Budgets are adjusted and belts are tightened. Schedules are rearranged. But like the creature, if we keep trusting that current --God--eventually we will be lifted free and transcend all these little concerns. Suddenly these things no longer matter and we are free to travel where He carries us. Clinging, we will never go. We will waste away, bored but safe.

What the creature said is true; God delights in lifting us free from ourselves. We have to allow Him to first.

Unfortunately the ending is so often true in this world. Take Mother Theresa as an example. She bravely let go of those twigs and rocks and allowed the current to sweep her free. While there's nothing wrong with gathering courage from her example, so often figures like Mother Theresa become the objects of our worship. We value her word and her input over His. We focus on the creature floating freely instead of on the current that allows it to float so freely.

It's time to let go. It's time to trust the current. It's time to see past the initial battering. It's time to look further down the river. Though He may carry us through rapids and falls even once we're lifted free of the bottom, this rivers always ends into the most beautiful ocean: an eternity with Him in paradise.

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