The current of the river and other thoughts…

My last post discussed feeling a blog inside but not immediately having a path for the words to come out.

Today is just the opposite.

I had no intention of writing a blog today. In fact, I have eight Chrome tabs open that are related to one work project or another. And I have several errands to run.

Yet, here I am, with no choice but to write.

My friend, Michelle, understands. Anyone who is a writer does.

It’s Facebook’s fault. The first writing jab came when my sweet young friend, Taylor, shared her struggle to find motivation and purpose yesterday. Then, my dear friend, Trish, shared her decision to give up Facebook for Lent in order to devote more time to spiritual and personal growth.

I have been sharing my vision of how my blog can expand with a few folks. I want to incorporate video snippets, with some audio overtop. 
I need a DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone and a GoPro Hero4 Black. NEED. 
Yes, I like to identify my desires specifically.  I can quickly come up with a dozen ideas for using this equipment, with one of the coolest being a view from above a river, either from a boat or a lookout.

In light of my vision and my friends’ posts, I am thinking today about rivers.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has online maps to help boaters navigate the state rivers, especially with regard to locks. The area between two locks is designated as a pool. The size of each pool is determined by where locks are needed – which is determined by changing water levels.

A two mile pool might be fine for a fisherman, but not much fun for a 28’ recreational boat. Some people never have a need to encounter a lock. But if you on the Allegheny River in Kittanning and you want to get to Pittsburgh by boat, you need to know when the locks are open to you.

Okay, Beth, that’s a great lesson on locks. So what’s the point?

The point is that as much as life is like a puzzle (see my previous blog), it resonates more with me to think about the current that flows through everything, that connects everything, that carries us on our path to whatever degree we allow it. Like a river. 
The point is it would be easier – sometimes – to fly a DJI Phantom 3 Pro over this river we call life to get a better sense of it.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent in the Christian Church. I remember, as a kid, lying quietly in bed on Sunday mornings, hoping my mom would sleep in and we would miss church. Now, while I don’t advocate everything for which “the Church” stands, I know my life would not be what it is and I would not be who I am without Jesus.

I am grateful for the promise of eternity, of leaving this physical body and returning to the place where my soul will be with all those I love.

I am grateful for what Jesus has taught me about loving people (including myself), about patience, kindness, humility, the blessing of peace, the lightness of joy.

I am also grateful for the, albeit limited, detail we get about how Jesus lived while He was here.

Talk about a dude who was chill!

Jesus was comfortable in His own skin. He shared His message and if people didn’t believe it, He moved on. There was no attempt to convince, and certainly no badgering. He had emotions, but He didn’t dwell on the negative.

One of my favorite stories is when Jesus encounters the woman who has been bleeding for 12 years. (Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26, Luke 8:40-56) The woman is so convinced of Jesus’ ability to heal her that she crawls through the feet of the large crowd lined up to see Him. When Jesus walks by her, she is only able to touch His garment.

Two amazing things happened. First, the blood stopped instantly and she was healed. Second, Jesus looked around because, while He didn’t feel her touch his garment, He did feel power go out.

Jesus knew He had come from God. He knew there is a current, like a river, that flows from God through everything. Every human, every animal, every plant, every cell, every atom. Jesus knew His power was found in that current, and He knew prayer and meditation was how He could plug in every day.

Jesus radiated peace and power and joy because He stay aligned with God. He knew that all things are possible for God. He knew the current is under God’s watchful eye and would take Him on the right path. He knew that no matter what was happening on a given day – even being tortured and nailed to a cross – everything was always working out.

People focus on many things during Lent. I’m not one to dwell on mourning or punishment or sorrow. My focus this Lenten season will be the following verse:
Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But He accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the JOY that God put before him. (Hebrews 12:2)

JOY.

Because, in spite of today’s reality, the river flows with a current directed by the Creator of the universe. Because, while there will be rocks and rapids and locks, the river will carry me forward. Because, whether I believe it or not, everything is always working out.

Maybe you will join me.

Right now I need to get back to those open tabs. 

We will talk again soon…

BP 🙂 

PS  Inspiration is an interesting thing. Those two Facebook posts pushed me to write, but as the words spilled out, nothing about those posts appeared. That’s how writing goes sometimes.

Beth Painter is, among many other things, a writer and motivational speaker. You can follow her on Facebook on the “Think Big focus small” page.

Beth is available to speak to your group about how to make your dreams and desires come to life! 

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