For many years, I saw my life as a river — a swiftly flowing current, constantly moving, carrying me along. Well-defined banks kept my life on course, but the river was rolling, incessantly rolling, ever rolling. School activities, sporting events, concerts, homework, practices, games, musicals, friends, youth group, driver’s licenses, laundry, dating, college, cooking, parties — always a feeling of just trying to keep my head above water. Surrendering to the river’s energy that kept me moving forward, I learned to navigate the steady stream and keep us all afloat in the family lifeboat.
What I didn’t know was that the river had a destination.
I wasn’t even aware that the familiar waterway was actually hurrying me along to a new place.
Rivers run to the sea.
Suddenly there has been a great emptying out, a swift deposit from the river into a deep and wide expanse. Instead of being pushed along by a demanding, coursing current, I now find myself bobbing, floating in unfamiliar waters. The schedules, the menus, the lists, those rigid banks which were so much a part of river-life, are not necessary here. I still feel a powerful force beneath me, but in a different sense. My life-as-a-sea plays out as a series of waves — in and out, ebbing and flowing. Great tidal waves of family gatherings are followed by even greater times of stillness. I must adapt to this new rhythm of the waves and discover how to ride them in and out with grace. I must learn to manage this new sea-life — to become at ease in vast open spaces without clearly marked boundaries, yet endless possibilities.
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.