No two rivers ever look the same. Rivers run fast, they rush over stones and smooth them, they rush through turns and straiten them, and often they have a lot of rapids. The land around them is never the same - the same tree, or bush, or rise will never appear twice. But somehow, they all empty into the ocean, in a cascading of water.
Life is very much the same. Each person, just like a river, never will be like another one. We are all different. Life has troubles along our paths, and honestly they often seem to be boulders. Later, I'm sure, we'll see them as mere pebbles.
Fast balls seem to fly at us from all angles, throwing in twists we weren't expecting. I often find that these huge turns in the river always bring me back around so that I am no more than a degree off from where I was headed - just like a river that seems to have great big turns, but on inspection of a map, it seems to be going almost strait.
Turbulence, what is life without it? Rapids knock us out of the life boat, and sometimes you have to ride them to the end before you can get back in.
We have to experience moments as they come, just like the scenery along the river. No matter where I go in life, I will never catch that one moment again. Just like I will not see the same tree further down the river.
Just like the rivers, every human life has a different path - a different story to tell - but no matter what stones we have to smooth, or turns we have to maneuver, or rapids we have to ride, we are all heading towards our eternity. This eternity, just like the ocean, has no depth that can be found, or ending we can ever see. But it is certainly full of beautiful mysteries for us to explore.
It's so easy to obsess over times in our lives, or decisions we have to make. And often, I think we are so close that we see only the turn, instead of the entire picture. We have a beautifully painted map if we will only take a look. Scripture shows us how seeing the entire picture can change your view of an event. I want to see the picture God is painting of my story, not only treasure the moments along my path, but have the eyes to see His big picture too.
As water runs over my hands, I am reminded of this picture, reminded of the "river of my life". But then I smile, because I'm also reminded of something else. In God's masterpiece of my life, there is no drain, and no moments "go down the drain" and no efforts are worth nothing. Because all those moments that seem to be doing just that - going down the drain - they are simply moments in which my rocky character is being smoothed out. And so, I let this river run it's course, I hang on tight, enjoy the scenery, and remember that a renewal of hope is a map look away.