Thursday, December 3, 2009


It's surprising how easily you can get swept away in a river.  I remember swimming with our family once in a mountain river near us ("Ruck-a-Chucky" -- isn't that a fun name to say 10 times in a row?)...I remember wading in the icy, waist-deep water and barely being able to stand still.   The water wasn't moving all that fast, but it was still powerful enough to give the power of gravity a good run for its money.

Now ordinarily it's not that hard to stand still.  Mostly it requires, well, just standing there.  But standing still presents a whole new challenge when the lower half of your body is surrounded by slowly moving water.  There's a power called buoyancy which makes your body a lot less heavy.  And once you start to lose your traction even the slowest current can start to take you away.  The waters there were pretty calm and so we weren't in any danger, but I still remember how hard it was to simply stand still.   I'd lift my arms out of the water, stretching as tall as I could out of the buoyant water to get as much weight on my feet as I could.  Reaching up seemed to shift my center of gravity and help me settle back down.  But even then my feet would still slip easily through the sand.

I find the same thing can happen when surrounded by the currents of busyness.  When I go through seasons where the events on my calendar want to sweep me downstream I find myself feeling like a one-armed paperhanger.   Soon I'm struggling simply to get settled into who I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing...

(Oops--just got a text about something I was supposed to have done by now.  Bummer.  But back to my train of thought)

...and soon it can feel surprisingly difficult to simply stand still.  To "be still and know that (He) is God" as Psalm 46 says.

What helps, I've found, is to raise my hands.  Reaching up seems to change my spiritual center of gravity  and help me feet to settle back down on terra firma.  I don't know exactly how He does it, but God seems to put my feet back on solid ground (Psalm 40:2).

Ever have that?

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